In amongst the many announcements made within February’s Levelling Up White Paper was that there will be 20 “new transformative regeneration projects” to deliver King’s Cross style redevelopments in the places selected.1 However, there has since been very little detail about what these regeneration zones will actually do.

The Government has announced some of the places where the zones will be located. Sheffield and Wolverhampton were included alongside the policy announcement, and Blackpool has since been added. Homes England will lead on the regeneration of the built environment. Yet what exactly the Government will do in each location and how much money will be assigned to them is still to be revealed.

This specific policy is potentially a very important part of the wider process of the levelling up agenda’s ambitions to help turn struggling places around. The 20 regeneration projects present the opportunity to do something targeted at sufficient scale to address these barriers and provide a catalyst for economic improvement of an area.

The sites that are candidates for intervention struggle for a number of reasons, all of which must be addressed if a scheme is to be a success. This will need to be done in a comprehensive and integrated way.

The purpose of this research is to help the Government fill in the detail, setting out what it is the projects should do and in what type of locations it should do them. Section 3 sets out a framework for assessing regeneration projects and in what parts of the country the Government should focus its 20 zones. Section 4 looks in detail at the Government’s example of King’s Cross, exploring what it was that made the scheme a success and what this means for other parts of the country. Section 5 uses additional case studies to illustrate how the approach by the public sector will need to vary if the schemes are to be a success in other parts of the country. Finally, Section 6 gives policy recommendations to make the schemes a success.