Better jobs must be created in the north of England, Wales and Northern Ireland in order to help the “levelling up” agenda, according to a new report.
More affordable housing in the South is also necessary to help the UKs recovery, financial services giant Legal & General said.
The L&G Rebuilding Britain Index said that jobs and affordable homes are the two factors most likely to boost people’s quality of life, with “investment in these areas falling significantly short” in recent years.
Nigel Wilson, chief executive officer at L&G, said: “Levelling up and building back better are, rightly, key government priorities.
“Our new Rebuilding Britain Index shows that investment priorities differ by area – but that job creation and affordable housing are the centrepiece to improving quality of life.”
Wales reported a reading of 51 of out 100 regarding jobs and economic prosperity, with figures of 53 and 54 for the north of England and Northern Ireland respectively, in the data taken from a survey of more than 20,000 people.
Meanwhile, London reported a score of 69 regarding jobs but received the lowest national score – 51 – when people were surveyed on housing.
It comes amid concerns from London leaders that more affordable housing is needed, with Mayor Sadiq Khan’s official assessment calling for around 66,000 new London homes each year, with around two-thirds of these needing to be affordable.
Mr Wilson said: “Through our inclusive capitalism strategy, we have invested over £29 billion in partnership with the public and private sector to deliver tangible regeneration which delivers more affordable housing, creates jobs and supports regional economic growth.
“As the idea of a K-shaped recovery becomes a reality, and inequality widens across the UK, developing local investment strategies to meet local priorities has never been more important.
“Towns and cities should be in the driving seat of their own recovery and it’s up to businesses like ours to provide the investment needed to realise these ambitions.”