Skip to main content Skip to footer

Colliers responds to Government’s Levelling Up Plan

02 02 22 Colliers responds to levelling up agenda hero

As the Government releases its 12 ‘levelling up missions’ ahead of publishing its White Paper in full later today, Colliers has responded to the latest plan, which provides a renewed focus for the UK’s regions to benefit from opportunity more equally spread across the country.

Andrew McFarlane, Head of the Regions, Colliers said: “The Government’s latest levelling up plan brings renewed focus to an important issue and outlines a more ambitious agenda that bodes well for the future of all our regions. For 20 years or more, UK regions have been bootstrapping. All that could be about to change with Michael Gove’s 12 missions which will be given status in law. I hope that this announcement proves to be the lever that is long enough to level up our regions once and for all.

“Regions 1.0 was the George Osborne speech on 23 June 2014 at the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester, when he set out the vision for the Northern Powerhouse which trialled Mayors, Combined Authorities and devolution. Regions 2.0 saw Theresa May build on that success and extend the Northern Powerhouse model as a framework applicable to all regions. Regions 3.0 starts now with the Michael Gove White Paper on Levelling Up and deserves the support of public and private sector leaders across the regions. 

“Colliers continues to back the Levelling Up agenda and I encourage my regional counterparts to do the same. I will be closely watching the activity of the Levelling Up Advisory Council and avidly reading the Government’s Annual Report to monitor the progress of the latest missions.”

Walter Boettcher adds: “The Government’s unveiling of a levelling up plan is welcome after long delays due to pandemic and political fallout from Brexit. Levelling up aspirations have been part of the Conservative agenda since at least 2014 when George Osborne announced the Northern Powerhouse initiative. Much of the political apparatus to enable regional development is already in place given the undeniable progress with regional devolution and the rise of mayoral systems that are already paying noteworthy development dividends in several parts of the country.” 

“The principles underlying this approach to development remain solid. The challenge now is overcoming the erosion of fiscal firepower that occurred over the last two years, although as the Government press release makes clear, ‘unleashing private sector investment’ is really the key. It is not about the volume of Government investment, it is about targeting limited resources to create investible environments.”

Related Experts

Andrew McFarlane

Director | Head of the Regions

Deanwater Estates


Chartered Surveyor with over 30 years experience. In that time I have worked in London, Brussels and Manchester and have been employed by Hillier Parker, Threadneedle and Colliers International. Head of North West from 2011 to 2019 and Head of Regions since 2013.

I specialise in solving large and complex property problems, as a Trusted Advisor, for public and private organisations across the Regions. I am an advocate for the Regions, the Northern Powerhouse, Devolution and Rebalancing of the Economy.

View expert

Walter Boettcher

Head of Research and Economics

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

I am the the Chief Economist at global property advisors Colliers International based in London.  I am a research economist identifying timely research topics and directing research and forecasting outputs.

I have over 20 years UK and European property industry experience and extensive expertise across a wide range of property sectors and related industries.

I participate regularly in industry panel discussions, but am focused more on direct client engagement with institutions, property companies, banks, and private investors. A regular media commentator, I have a wide range of national and broadcast experience.

I joined Colliers International in August 2007 after several years at a private property company where he was responsible for managing a mixed portfolio of London residential, retail and office assets.

Previously, I worked in a few London property advisory firms, a geodemographic company as well as a few youthful sojourns in the US offshore oil industry, local government and entertainment business.

I am an economics graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received his PhD from the Faculty of Science at University College London.  I am a member of Lambda Alpha International and the Society of Property Researchers.

Perhaps best known for my alternative take on property economics and investment, I am a keen proponent of UK regional development and infrastructure investment.

View expert

Suzy Simpson

Head of Content, Communications and PR


London - West End

As Head of Content, Communications & PR for Colliers in the UK, I am responsible for driving the strategic direction of corporate communications, media relations, and the programming and production of multi-channel content to engage external and internal audiences across the UK.

Get in touch for help with: 

  • Content Communication Strategy 
  • Media Relations
  • Corporate & Internal Communications
  • Media Training & Personal Brand Training


View expert