UCL Grand Challenges


‘Levelling up’ or ‘Left-behind’? – In conversation with Fiona Hill

12 July 2022, 2:30 pm–3:30 pm

Greyscale photo of a street of brick buildings

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Siobhan Morris

About this event

‘Levelling up’ or ‘Left-behind’? Restoring opportunity in UK society – In conversation with Fiona Hill

Geographical inequalities in the UK are not new, with the making of ‘left-behind’ places reflecting the pattern of post-industrial growth. As well as suffering economic disadvantage, people in left behind places are more likely to feel disenfranchised, ignored, sceptical about politics and there is evidence that previously strong communal bonds are fraying. Major public policy interventions are required, as evidenced in the recent UK Government Levelling Up White Paper. However, to understand the complex patterns of inequalities within places, deeper understanding of places and the close linkages between economics and social networks are required.

This event, a conversation with Fiona Hill, Former Advisor to US President Donald Trump, and John Tomaney, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning UCL, will illuminate the example of County Durham, drawing upon personal experiences and research to discuss policy solutions and how we can return hope to ‘left-behind’ places.

This event is organised by UCL's Grand Challenge of Justice & Equality and UCL Public Policy.

Image credit: Unsplash/ mtimber71

About the Speakers

Fiona Hill

Former Advisor to US President Donald Trump

Fiona Hill is Senior Fellow in the Centre on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution and author of There Is Nothing For You Here: Finding Opportunity in the Twenty-First Century (2022). Previously she served as Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.

A head and shoulders photo of Fiona Hill

John Tomaney

Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL

John Tomaney is Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. John was a member of the UK2070 Commission, chaired by Lord Kerslake, which investigated regional inequalities in the UK and is a Trustee of Redhills – the Durham Miners’ Hall. 

John Tomaney headshot
More about John Tomaney