The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

One Powerhouse


  • People & place
  • Public Services & Communities
  • Cities
  • Communities
  • Devolution
  • Housing
  • Institutional reform
  • Localism

A Vision for Britain. Planned.

‘Levelling-up’ is about more than just investment.

Improving infrastructure & reducing inequality between English regions needs a clear and coherent plan to increase spending’s impact.

In this report the RSA and the One Powerhouse Consortium, supported by The Sir Hugh and Lady Sykes Charitable Trust, argue that spatial planning can be the answer.

What is spatial planning? It maps everything in a region (like places, infrastructure, energy) and makes a plan for how to best join up & make the most of them.

Recommendations to government

  • Adopt spatial planning – principles & processes to looking at regions & making sure industrial strategy, infrastructure planning & local economic development are working together towards the same goal.
  • Plan using 4 ‘mega-regions’ in England (North, Midlands, South East, South West), making sure they are bottom-up collaborations between local leaders & not top-down Whitehall bodies.
  • Changes to investment rules for regions including changes to how government assesses projects to fund, lifting the cap on capital investment, delegating decision-making, & encouraging the growth of regional banks.
  • Support organisations already working on the mega-region scale and create bodies that will help hold them to account.
  • Task & resource the National Infrastructure Commission with responsibility for overseeing & supporting the development of regional spatial strategies & an overarching UK spatial framework
  • Introduce 4 regional ministers, 1 for each of England’s mega-regions. They would represent region to govt & form a committee for regional rebalancing, attended by cabinet members.

pdf 4.8 MB

Related articles

  • The best and the worst of us


    Matthew Taylor

    The eighth in a series of posts about ‘coordination theory’ - a set of ideas about human motivation, organisational and social change - looks at 'solidarity'. Solidarity is arguably the form that brings out both the best and worst parts of our characters.

  • Employee wellness: sound sense or snake oil?


    Neil Thompson FRSA

    Dr Neil Thompson offers 10 pitfalls to avoid when improving employee wellness.

  • RDInsights: Tom Lloyd


    Tom Lloyd RDI is one of the UK's foremost product designers. He is in conversation with fellow RDI Mike Dempsey.