The First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are being invited by the UK Government to join what it hailed as a “new collective effort to level up” the whole of the United Kingdom.

The move was announced as the Conservative administration at Westminster prepared to publish its Levelling Up white paper.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove is to invite Scottish First Minister Nicole Sturgeon, as well as her Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford and Paul Givan and Michelle O’Neill from Northern Ireland, to take part in the project, calling for the four nations to work together in the same way as they did in the Covid vaccine roll out.

It is the most comprehensive, ambitious plan of its kind that this country has ever seen and it will ensure that the government continues to rise to the challenge and deliver for the people of the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson

In addition, the Glasgow city region is to be one of three new Innovation Accelerator areas, and will receive a share of £100 million of UK Government funding in a bid to encourage innovation and research and development work and boost local opportunities

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