London, as the capital city of the United Kingdom, has long been known as a financial and cultural centre of the country. However, the city's status as a hub of economic activity has also resulted in it receiving a higher amount of funding per individual than those residing in the north of the UK. This disparity in funding has been the subject of much debate, with many individuals and organisations calling for a more equitable distribution of resources.
One of the primary reasons London receives a higher funding allocation is possibly due to its larger population and higher levels of economic activity. With a population of over 8 million people, London is one of the most populous cities in Europe and is home to many large corporations and financial institutions. This has resulted in a greater demand for services and infrastructure, which in turn has led to a higher level of funding from central government.
Another factor contributing to the disparity in funding is the historical dominance of London in the UK's political and economic landscape. For centuries, London has been the seat of power in the UK, and its status as a global financial centre has given it significant influence over government policy. This influence has resulted in a concentration of resources in London, with many government departments and agencies based in the city.
This has also led to a brain drain from other regions of the country. Many talented individuals from the north of the UK have been drawn to London by the prospect of higher salaries and greater opportunities for career advancement. This has resulted in a shortage of skilled workers in the north, which has made it even more difficult for businesses in the region to grow and compete with those in London.
The government has attempted to address this issue by introducing a range of policies aimed at promoting economic growth and development in the north—‘levelling up’, they’ve labelled it. These policies include the creation of enterprise zones and the provision of funding for infrastructure projects.
The disparity in funding between London and the north is a complex issue with many factors at play. Many critics argue that these policies do not go far enough and that the government needs to take more drastic action to address the inequality in funding. Some have called for a radical overhaul of the UK's political and economic system, with greater powers devolved to regional bodies and authorities.
Whilst the above describes public funding, the same scenario is reflected in charitable funding. The amount of funding per individual in some parts of London is more than £2,000. In comparison, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, the exact same statistics show that the funding per head is between £24 to £36.
Again, there are numerous factors at play. I spoke in this article how lots of people in top-tier and middle management hold their hands out for their share of any funding before it reaches the end beneficiaries; however, in fairness, whilst this is a huge problem, it’s not confined to the north or the south. It happens across the entire global VCSE sector. It does suggest that the ‘I’m alright, Jack’ culture is prevalent, though—and if decision- and policy-makers in London get their hands on greater pots of funding than the north, it’s perhaps a given that they would want to look after their own locality first, before passing it up to strangers hundreds of miles away. This doesn’t make it right, however.
London may have its areas of deprivation, which deserve funding so that they can improve. But the north has hundreds of miles, collectively, of deprivation that need the same funding.
So, that’s why London receives more funding. I’d just love someone to tell me how we change this or address the imbalance…