THIS week’s column comes after a mightily impressive England victory against the Germans - the first in a knockout tournament since 1966. We’ve seen a swelling of pride in the team and the nation, with the one clear message that it’s coming home.

It’s coming home to a country that’s building back better. That’s on the road to recovery from the pandemic with major initiatives like the Levelling Up Fund that will unlock the potential of towns like Radcliffe.

Having worked with the Radcliffe Regeneration Delivery Board and the council, I know a strong bid for £20m for the regeneration of Radcliffe town centre was submitted to the Levelling Up Fund.

This would see the creation of new leisure and civic facilities in the heart of the town replacing those functions the town has been missing for several years. With cross-party support and a focus on delivering for the town, it feels like Radcliffe is no longer the borough's forgotten town. The bid centres on what can be done to revitalise the hub of the community, which the excellent work of the market started.

Last February the Education Secretary made a long-awaited decision to see a new high school built in Radcliffe. Together the Levelling Up Fund and new high school are opening up exciting opportunities for our town – giving the focus it needs after years of neglect.

Levelling up however is much more than shiny new buildings. It’s also about tackling problems in education and social mobility. Giving people the best start in life to make something of themselves. Through the work I’m involved in through the National Literacy Trust, and as Chairman of the APPG on Literacy, we’re focussed on the roughly nine million people across the UK who struggle with reading.

This prevents them accessing employment they are capable of but also impacts on health and mobility.

We've all seen the stigma of mental health and we’re in a much better place than we were just a few years ago.

But we still have walls to break down over the stigma of illiteracy. People aren't as ready or as open to discussing this issue due to their feeling of shame and it’s time we change this.

So as part of the government's levelling up agenda, at the forefront of my mind will be how we create new and better opportunities for those just starting out in life, and those adults seemingly being left behind.