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What’s Onward This Week

This week we got two glimpses of what could become of Liz Truss’s legacy. 

The first was the launch of the former PM’s Growth Commission, which will provide alternative forecasts to the OBR and IFS. An injection of analysis into the crucial debate on the UK’s anaemic economic growth is no bad thing. 

But the second, more important glimpse was yesterday’s launch of South Yorkshire’s Investment Zone. The site has already secured £80 million of private investment, a big vote of confidence in the partnership led by Boeing and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. The new Investment Zone model is some way from the original pitch of low-tax & low-regulation, with a focus instead on skills, R&D, and university partnerships. It might not be what Truss originally envisaged – but it may well be the key to the growth she has long argued for.

✍️ Research

When you look around areas most in need of levelling up, the first thing you might notice are signs of anaemic economies. But if you look closer, you’ll find fractured communities. We highlighted this link between economic growth and pride in place in Levelling Up Locally and Senior Researchers Jenevieve Treadwell and Callum Newton also outlined it in their recent article for the Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up. Tackling anti-social behaviour, revitalising local high streets and boosting employment in post-industrial towns will be central to unlocking long-term growth.

📰 Media Mentions

Our Director, Sebastian Payne, wrote in The Times on how we have become too reliant on government intervention to solve problems. 

The Chancellor’s address at Onward’s annual Chairman’s Dinner was covered in Politico, The Independent and The Telegraph. Henry Hill from Conservative Home also referred to the Chancellor’s address in an article about targeting younger voters

The Independent covered the address from the Minister for Pensions, Laura Trott, at an Onward event this week.

🌐 Onward Online

We were delighted to host the Minister for Pensions, Laura Trott, earlier this week to discuss the Chancellor’s Mansion House Reforms. 

You can catch up on the Pensions Minister’s keynote address with our live Tweet thread or on YouTube

We also hosted a panel discussion on the future of UK immigration policy, featuring former Immigration Minister Damian Green MP. You can catch up on the highlights with our live Tweet thread or on YouTube

🗓️ Upcoming Events

The Home Front: Harnessing our manufacturing and engineering capacity to level up communities

Turbulent events around the world have made clear the need to maintain a sovereign defence capability. At the same time, controversy around the Newport Wafer Fab site has emphasised the importance of resilient domestic manufacturing and engineering industries. Conversations in Westminster are coalescing around these twin challenges – boosting investment in our armed forces and protecting strategically important supply chains.

This renewed focus can yield benefits at home and abroad. Communities across the Midlands and the North host parts of Britain’s manufacturing sectors that generate good jobs and boost investment. Supporting these clusters means leveraging public procurement, investing in skills and employment pathways, and promoting trade and exports to new markets. There is a potential for a national security and economic security win-win – but it won’t occur by accident.

This event will consider what steps the Government needs to take to boost domestic engineering and manufacturing clusters and support levelling up. We will examine what has worked historically, and what hasn’t, in harnessing the potential of engineering and manufacturing industries to secure Britain’s place on the global stage.

Sign up here

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Realising young people’s potential – A keynote speech from the Culture Secretary

We are delighted to invite you to a keynote speech by Rt Hon Lucy Frazer MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on her ambitions for supporting young people to realise their potential.

The speech will be followed by a short Q&A. You can sign up to receive the streaming link here.

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Power to the People: Securing Community Support for New Green Infrastructure

The UK is in the foothills of an unprecedented energy transition, catalysed by Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine. To secure its energy supplies and meet its net zero targets, the Government is turning to renewable energy and upgrading its power grid. But local opposition often gets in the way of development.

According to Onward’s new polling of rural voters, there is an overwhelming majority in favour of building onshore wind and solar farms. But over three quarters of all respondents agreed renewable energy projects should financially contribute in some way to the local community.

In their upcoming report, Power to the People, Onward argues that engagement and participation is the best way to overcome local opposition to renewable projects and grid infrastructure. A strong community benefits policy is key to planning reform, including lifting the de facto ban on onshore wind. Join this Onward webinar with Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, to discuss the new report.

Sign up here

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We’ve partnered with the CogX Festival! 

CogX Festival announces its iconic new venue – The O2 Arena – and expansion to three Summits, and a huge Expo to address the question:  “How do we get the next 10 years right?”

The DeepTech Summit, Industry Transformation Summit and Global Leadership Summit will welcome 90,000 visitors over 3 days covering over 200 topics, including Generative AI and AI safety, ethics and regulation

To join the CogX Festival 2023 with an additional 30% discount on all Platinum, Gold and Standard passes use 30ONUK23 code on the CogX website . For an Investor pass you will need to apply through the same link using this code 30INVONUK23.

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