Legatum Institute launches new Centre for UK Prosperity

The coming years represent a time of transition and opportunity for the UK. Never has it been more important for the country to ensure that it seizes the opportunity to build the pathway to prosperity.

A commentary for the UK Prosperity programme by Baroness Philippa Stroud

Published 22 Oct 2020

The Legatum Institute is delighted to announce the creation of a new Centre for UK Prosperity. The Centre will have a dedicated team of analysts and researchers focused on creating the pathways from poverty to prosperity for England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Building on the Institute’s 13 years’ experience of measuring prosperity across the world, the new Centre will develop a bespoke Prosperity Index for the UK, measuring how each local authority area is performing in terms of institutional, economic, and social wellbeing. Based on the Index findings, the Centre will also develop a suite of policy proposals to help leaders address specific challenges at both regional and local level, with a particular focus on improving prosperity in the north of England and supporting the ‘levelling-up’ push.

Commenting on the launch of the new Centre, CEO of the Legatum Institute Philippa Stroud said: “This next year, and the coming decade, represent a time of transition and opportunity for the UK. We have an administration that has made clear its desire to level up the country. Brexit will increase our domestic accountability and we will be able to redefine our relationships with other nations around the world. And while the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant health, economic, and social damage across the country, it has also highlighted the potential for new ways of living that could create a more just, free, and prosperous society.

“Never has it been more important for the UK to ensure that we seize the opportunity to build the pathway to prosperity. What we need now is a holistic assessment of the UK’s current strengths and weaknesses to help point the way to true prosperity, and a clear set of policies that will effectively and sustainably address the distinct challenges in different parts of the country. This is a moment for the UK to decide the character of the nation we want to be. There are some difficult questions to answer and we need to hold firm to the core principles that build prosperity. Our new Centre for UK Prosperity will leave no stone unturned in providing solutions to these challenges and illuminating the path that should be taken.”

The Centre will be directed by Professor Matthew Goodwin. Matthew, who will join the Institute full time in January 2021, is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of Kent and Associate Fellow at Chatham House. He has conducted research for nearly two decades, much of which has focused on ‘left behind’, low-income communities. The Deputy Head of the Centre is Daniel Herring, who is currently a Senior Analyst in the Legatum Institute’s Centre for Metrics and has led the Institute’s global work on economic openness.

Commenting on his appointment, Matthew Goodwin said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Legatum Institute as it embarks on this vital piece of work at this crucial moment in our country’s history. We need to be doing more for those who have been left behind, including the children and families who are falling through the cracks, and we need to ensure that we are asking the right questions. Having researched these issues for many years I am excited to now be working with the team at Legatum to do something about it. I am looking forward to leading the Centre for UK Prosperity as we help tackle these major socio-economic challenges and develop policies to enhance prosperity in every region of the UK.”

Daniel Herring commented, “As Deputy Director of the Centre for UK Prosperity, I am delighted to be joining Matthew and the team. I am looking forward to using my experience in the Institute to confront the major challenges that now face the UK.”