The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will become the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as Whitehall embarks on a machinery of Government change to tackle regional inequality across the UK.
The change comes as former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane was appointed as the new Head of the Levelling Up Taskforce.
The taskforce has been jointly established by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP - and begins to answer the question of how Gove will integrate the skills and transport agenda into the work of his new department.
This provides a platform for the Secretary of State to drive cross-Whitehall efforts to deliver a programme of tangible improvements, even as he retains responsibility for United Kingdom governance and elections, which formerly sat in Cabinet Office. Gove will therefore be additionally known as Minister for Intergovernmental Relations.
"I’m thrilled that the PM has asked me to lead the Levelling Up agenda, the defining mission of this Government," said the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove. "Our relentless focus will be on delivering for those overlooked families and undervalued communities across the United Kingdom. We have a unique opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives."
Andy Haldane will join as a permanent secretary in the Cabinet Office on secondment from the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce for six months. He will head up the Levelling Up Taskforce that will report jointly to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
"Levelling up the UK is one of the signature challenges of our time. It has also been a personal passion throughout my professional career," noted Andy Haldane. "I look forward to working with colleagues across government, local and national, and with the private and voluntary sectors, to design and deliver an economy that works for every part of the UK."
James is the Editor of GovX Digital, and has been covering digital government and public sector reform for 20 years. He also oversees the development of the agenda for the UK's biggest public sector transformation conference.