• Led by Leeds City Council, with Leeds Academic Health Partnership as the academic partner.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has widened health and economic inequalities in Leeds, with benefits claims increasing by over 100 per cent since March 2020, and mortality rates increasing in the most disadvantaged areas.
  • Project to improve health inequalities through a joined-up, targeted approach to economic and health interventions in the most disadvantaged communities in Leeds. Will help to embed transformational change, with Leeds Anchors Network institutions working closely and in co-production with communities.

Despite sustained growth and relatively high employment levels in Leeds, poverty and deprivation remain significant challenges in the city. Inequalities are widening and have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mortality rates in the most disadvantaged areas are more than double those in the least disadvantaged, and vaccine uptake is also lower.

The Leeds Anchors Network is a consortium of 13 organisations who share a commitment to using their place-based economic, human and intellectual power to better the long-term welfare of their local communities. The Network has worked to ensure the workforce of the largest publicly-funded organisations in the city are more representative of their communities and improve economic and social benefits to the city’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

This project will build on the strong foundations of the Leeds Anchors Network and further increase its impact on health and economic outcomes. It will focus on how the Network can influence the health of people in the city and focus further on tackling inequalities through building and embedding economic and social interventions, and understanding the resulting impacts.

The aim is to achieve systematic and routine involvement of Anchor institutions in interventions that support priority neighbourhoods. Key elements of the project will include connecting the Leeds Anchors Network to community organisations, working with people experiencing the poorest health outcomes; scaling up best practice that drives social value through procurement and recruitment of diverse workforces; and increasing opportunities for quality employment and training.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Fiona Bolam, Head of Economic Policy, City Development, Leeds City Council.

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