Yorkshire project to empower communities awarded £5m funding

14th February 2024

A project to give more power to low-income, marginalised and isolated communities across Yorkshire to confront the challenges posed by climate change and widening inequalities has been awarded £5m in funding.

The Yorkshire and Humber Policy Innovation Partnership (YPIP) will connect the expertise of the region’s 12 universities with the efforts of its residents, councils, and businesses to create a more inclusive and sustainable society.

The YPIP project, which is led by the University of Leeds, aims to:

  • increase access to, and use of, data to inform local decision-making across the region
  • expand opportunities for businesses and would-be entrepreneurs in the region, with a special focus on small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs from marginalised communities, and those engaged in the creative and cultural sector
  • move towards net zero carbon and introduce measures to adapt to the changing climate in the region.

At its heart will be the YPIP community panel, comprised of 12 members with diverse experiences of disadvantage, marginalisation or isolation. 

Dr Richard Crisp, researcher in the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University, is one of the co-investigators on the project.

Dr Crisp said:

CRESR and Sheffield Hallam University will play a leading role in this regional partnership to work with residents, councils and businesses to create a more inclusive and sustainable economy across Yorkshire and the Humber.

“This is a unique opportunity to harness our research strengths and work with partners across the region to design and test innovative ways of tackling inequalities and supporting communities to enhance economic and social wellbeing.”

Part of UKRI’s work to create opportunities and improve outcomes across the UK, the Local Policy Innovation Partnerships (LPIPs) will bring together devolved governments, local authorities, businesses and communities to harness the power of research and innovation in addressing local challenges. The partnerships will drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and reduce regional disparities in the UK.

The other projects are:

  • A Welsh initiative to develop an inclusive, sustainable, rural economy by giving local government, businesses and communities the evidence they need to make decisions that build prosperity and reduce inequality.
  • A Scottish project, which will focus on building inclusive economic opportunities, including jobs, around an abundant natural resource – water; and
  • A Northern Irish collaboration that will focus primarily on boosting skills to tackle unemployment and improve economic growth.

Professor Alison Park, Head of UKRI’s creating opportunities, improving outcomes theme, said:

“Local Policy Innovation Partnerships demonstrate UKRI’s commitment to bringing together a diverse range of partners, from local and devolved government, communities and businesses. Through these long-term collaborations, we will accelerate the use of research and innovation to reduce regional inequalities and drive sustainable, inclusive growth.”

The LPIPs programme is funded by UKRI through the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Innovate UK.

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