TWO years in and you might suspect that the Government would be tiring of its “levelling up” slogan, but that is not the case.

Not only has the Government created a levelling up department but it has appointed one of its most high profile ministers, Michael Gove, to run it.

And, two years on from the Tory tsunami through Durham and the Tees Valley, the area must still be uppermost in the Government's thoughts as Mr Gove could have gone anywhere for his first levelling up visit but chose this region.

We welcome his words, and ambition, of spreading opportunity and investment, and of creating strong local leaders to deliver it.

We note, though, there are no clearly definable objectives of “levelling up”, and we are concerned that investment that was coming our way as part of common government spending will suddenly be labelled “levelling up” investment.

This area needs investment that is over and above general spending levels if it really is to balance the historic inequalities that Mr Gove accepts it has endured over past decades.

But it would be churlish not to recognise the attention and that levelling up policies, such as relocating the Treasury jobs to Darlington, could be a big success.

The political spotlight will move on, so our local political leaders must continue to seize as much ministerial attention and money for as long as it lasts.