Economies for Healthier Lives A new funding programme to strengthen relationships between economic development and health

Economies for healthier lives social card

This programme is open for application until 15 January 2021.

  • A £1.72m funding programme to support partnerships to promote health and reduce health inequalities through economic development strategies.
  • The Economies for Healthier Lives programme will support three to four partnerships across the UK with funding of £300,000 to £500,000 for up to three years.
  • Partnerships will be led by a local authority or a statutory regional body and will bring together a range of organisations including an academic and collaboration partner.
  • Expressions of interest are now open until 12.00 (midday) Friday 15 January 2020.

The Health Foundation is launching a new funding programme to strengthen relationships between economic development and health. 

Good health has social and economic value for individuals, society and the economy. It is an enabler of the prosperous and flourishing societies that governments strive to achieve. People’s health relies not only on health care, but also on their economic circumstances – income, wealth, whether they have a job, and the type of work they do. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the strong links between the economy and health. It has not been a ‘great leveller’ but rather is having an unequal impact on our already unequal society. 

As we seek to rebuild the economy post-pandemic and ‘level up’ UK regions, there is an opportunity to create more inclusive economies geared towards reducing inequalities and improving health. This is set out in our recent report Using economic development to improve health and reduce health inequalities.

Through this programme, we will support local and regional partnerships to implement some of the ideas in that report by integrating economic development activity with work to improve health and/or reduce health inequalities.  

We are aware of the pressure the pandemic is putting on local areas and a decision to go ahead with the programme launch was not taken lightly. On balance, we felt that a decision to launch in 2020 rather than delaying until spring 2021 would better fit with timelines for local economic recovery planning. We have considered capacity concerns by designing a light-touch expression of interest process and allowing two months for expressions of interest to be developed. We will consult applicants on timing before confirming timelines for subsequent assessment stages. 

Invitation to apply

We are inviting local and regional partnerships to apply for funding of between £300k and £500k over three years, to use economic development activity as a mechanism to improve health and/or reduce health inequalities.  

Partnerships will be led by a local authority or combined authority (lead partner) and should also include: 

  • public health bodies and leaders (where this responsibility sits outside of the local authority)  
  • an academic partner (most likely a university, but this does not have to be the case)  
  • a specialist partner that can provide additional topic or community engagement expertise (this could be a national representative body, a voluntary and community sector organisation or a business). 

We would expect partnership plans to include joint working across public health and economic development functions. Further information can be found in the Call for applications. 

Information webinar

Our pre-recorded webinar introduces the programme, details what we are looking for in applications, provides advice on how to apply and answers pre-submitted questions. 

Watch the webinar below or read our summary of key points.
 


 

How to apply

Important: All applicants must read the Call for applications in full before submitting an expression of interest.   

There will be three stages to the application process for this programme.  

1. Expressions of interest  

Expressions of interest are open until 12.00 (midday) Friday 15 January 2021.    

All partnerships must submit an expression of interest through our applicant portal by the deadline, and late submissions will not be accepted. Applicants will need to register on our applicant portal before applying and can ask for support with any technical issues on EconomiesForHealthierLives@health.org.uk.    

A single organisation from each partnership must lead the application process. The lead organisation must submit the expression of interest form. We will only accept one expression of interest per partnership.  

Begin your expression of interest by registering for our applicant portal

2. Full applications  

From Monday 8 March 2021, we will invite up to 15 partnerships from the expression of interest phase to submit a full application for the programme. This is tentatively scheduled for 17.00 on Friday 7 May 2021 but we will be consulting with councils on the exact timeline in light of the pressures placed on them by the COVID-19 pandemic.   

For support with any technical issues with the applicant portal, please contact EconomiesForHealthierLives@health.org.uk.    

3. Interviews  

We aim to hold interviews (tentatively scheduled for June/ July 2021) with shortlisted partnerships. Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, the interview stage process will be confirmed closer to the time.  

The assessment days will include a presentation and an interview. The interview panels will include external experts and Health Foundation staff.  

Timetable

We will consult applicants on timings before confirming timelines for subsequent assessment stages. Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, the assessment day process will be confirmed closer to the time.  

Expressions of interest open 9 November 2020
Deadline for expressions of interest 12.00 (midday) 15 January 2021
Invitation to submit full applications From Monday 8 March 2021
Deadline for full applications 17.00 on Friday 7 May 2021 (tentative)
Invitation to attend an assessment day June 2021 (tentative)
Assessment days June/ July 2021 (tentative)
Teams notified of final decision July 2021 (tentative)

 

Further reading

Research report

Using economic development to improve health and reduce health inequalities

September 2020
Research report

This report sets out how economic development can be used to improve people’s health and reduce...

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