The “Levelling Up” White Paper puts great emphasis on recreating a modern day “Renaissance”.
Owl quotes from the paper (page xiv):
“The Renaissance flourished in Italian city states that combined innovation in finance with technological breakthroughs, the cultivation of learning, ground-breaking artistic endeavour, a beautiful built environment and strong civic leadership. And the first Industrial Revolution in Britain came about through the interplay of innovative financial instruments, sharper rewards for enterprise, new institutions of learning, improvements in transportation and rivalrous emulation between local leaders and entrepreneurs. Those same concerted forces are needed to drive productivity, innovation and growth across the UK today.
This contemporary Medici model, our twenty-first century recipe for a new Industrial Revolution, depends on harnessing an array of interventions and catalysing a range of sectors. Levelling up will require us to:
a. boost productivity, pay, jobs and living standards by growing the private sector, especially in those places where they are lagging;
b. spread opportunities and improve public services, especially in those places where they are weakest;
c. restore a sense of community, local pride and belonging, especially in those places where they have been lost; and
d. empower local leaders and communities, especially in those places lacking local agency.”
Here are members of the Great South West Team presenting a regional growth prospectus to the Minister for Local Growth, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, in January 2020. They then briefed him on ambitions to deliver £45 billion of economic benefit and 190,000 new jobs over the next 15 years. We’ve not heard much since.
Who, if any, of our local leaders deserves the accolade of a contemporary Medici?
Here’s what you are looking for:
The role models: Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici
Could it be Devon County Council Leader John Hart?