The former head of the levelling up taskforce has been appointed to a new role as chair of the government’s Levelling Up Advisory Council.
Ex-Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane will head up the new advisory council, which will provide independent specialist advice related to the design and delivery of the levelling up missions.
The “depth and breadth of his expertise will help the advisory council become a powerful platform to provide insightful, challenging advice to government”, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said in the announcement of his appointment.
Levelling up is the flagship policy of Boris Johnson’s government and aims to “break the link between geography and destiny so that no matter where you live, you have access to the same opportunities”.
The government published a white paper in February, setting out an eight-year plan to achieve 11 missions, including improving employment, education and transport.
Haldane, who left his role as perm sec for levelling up at the Cabinet Office in March, is currently the chief executive of the Royal Society of Arts.
Levelling up secretary Michael Gove said Haldane’s “vision and experience were crucial to putting missions at the heart of the levelling up white paper”.
“And as chair I know he will continue to drive forward this vital work,” he added.
Haldane said the council’s “deep pool of expertise and experience” will provide challenge and support for the government on levelling up “as it is delivered on the ground, and revivifies the lives of people, right across the UK”.
Describing levelling up as “one of the signature economic and social challenges of our time – a challenge made all that much greater by the cost of living crisis”, he said he is “delighted” to take on the role.
In March, Haldane said the levelling up agenda could be achieved without injecting lots of new funding, at an Institute for Government event.
The then-perm sec said the government is “already spending quite a lot of money” and can instead use current budgets and “tilt them in the direction of poorer areas”.