Fewer than a third of people in the north and Midlands believe the message behind levelling up is clear, according to a new survey.
A similar number of people said the phrase meant nothing, according to a YouGov survey of 1,000 adults commissioned by legal firm DWF.
Carried out in areas targeted for levelling up, the survey found 58% of people were still ‘unclear’ about the policy.
Almost one in three people said it was about making sure people in the north and Midlands have the 'same opportunities as those in the south-east’, but a similar number said it ‘doesn’t mean anything at all’.
The top measure respondents felt would improve their area was public safety and tackling crime at 52%, followed by more job opportunities and town centre enhancements.
Almost a third of people wanted better links to schools, shops and workplaces, and a similar number to town centres, closely followed by better connectivity to the rest of the UK.
Partner and head of public sector at DWF, Jonathan Branton, said: ‘While there is still some confusion over what the term actually means, this research shows there is real support for change and people in the north and Midlands are clear about what their priorities are.’