Policy Support Fund

At the University of Leeds, the Research England Policy Support Fund is used to facilitate researchers to better engage with policy professionals.   

2024-25 Policy Support Fund

The 2024-25 Policy Support Fund is currently open for applications. The call will close at 5pm on Friday 14 June and successful awards will commence on 1 October 2024.

Colleagues can find full details of the Policy Support Fund call on the staff intranet. For any questions about the Research England Policy Support Fund call, please email the Knowledge Exchange Team at knowledge-exchange@leeds.ac.uk

2023-24 Policy projects

Policy projects that were awarded funding from the 2023-24 Policy Support Fund are listed on this page, with those responding to the Leeds City Council Areas of Research Interest grouped separately. The projects started on 1 October 2023 and run through to July 2024.

Separate to the Policy Support Fund, several policy facing projects were awarded funding from the Participatory Research Fund for 2023-24. Information about these can be found on the Research and Innovation Service website.

Other funding bodies

Funding for policy facing projects can also be sought from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Impact Acceleration Account and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Impact Acceleration Account.

2023-24 Policy Support Fund projects 

Wow park

Anna Barker, Ben Walmsley, Wieke Eringa, Emma Ratyal-Brooks

A recent study funded by the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin and conducted by researchers in the School of Law found that most women and girls across West Yorkshire feel unsafe in parks and recreational spaces.   

To address this finding, the School of Law and Cultural Institute are exploring how creative solutions can help transform areas like Woodhouse Moor, the open space bordering the University. The research will measure how the introduction of community co-designed public art interventions and creative activations can quash feelings of vulnerability and create a safer and more inclusive environment for women, girls and local communities 

Wow Park will set a precedent for parks across the region by rethinking recreational spaces. The interventions trialled will combat poor design and anti-social behaviour to encourage access by marginalised groups.  

Wow Park is a collaborative project by the University of Leeds, Leeds City Council and the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin. 

Regenerative agriculture: evidence base for policy and practice

Pippa Chapman, Ruth Wade, Steve Banwart, Guy Ziv, Joseph Holden

There is an urgent need to minimise negative impacts of agriculture on the environment. For example, the application of fertiliser can release nitrogen to the atmosphere as nitrous oxide or ammonia, and to ground and surface waters as nitrate. This has detrimental impacts on global warming, contributes to degradation of bodies of water, and has negative effects on air and water quality that in turn affect human health.

We have studied the impact of sustainable farm practice – ‘Regenerative Agriculture’ – on crop yield, soil health, air and water quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and farm economics. The research is now at a stage to provide policy makers with the urgent information they need to support development of post-Brexit national agricultural environment schemes, meet environmental targets set by the government and sustainable targets set by agribusinesses.

This project will allow us to i) deliver policy-relevant engagement underpinned by our existing and ongoing science and ii) showcase research in action via the university farm demonstrator, hosting workshops and engagement events to very powerfully deliver policy-targeted messages to influence policy change and facilitate rapid uptake.

Tackling loneliness and social isolation among older people in Leeds

Shaunna Burke and Suzanne Richards (co-leads), Joanne Greenhalgh, Jo Volpe and Hillary Wadsworth (Leeds Older People’s Forum), and Helen Laird, Lisa Hanson and David Peel (Leeds City Council)

Older people are vulnerable to feeling socially isolated and lonely, and this can have a negative impact on their mental and physical health. Leeds Neighbourhood Networks (NNs) are community based, locally-led schemes designed to support older people. Comprising of voluntary organisations working across Leeds, one of their main roles is to reduce social isolation and loneliness by providing people with opportunities to engage in group activities (e.g. lunch clubs, fitness classes, craft sessions). Each of the 37 Leeds NN offers different activities based on perceived local needs. 

This project will develop a framework for understanding how Neighbourhood Networks are designed and delivered.

The Leeds NNs model of community support is being adopted by other cities across the UK. Whilst we know the NNs are highly valued by attendees, we do not know who engages with the NNs, which activities offered by networks reduce loneliness and social isolation, and how this might vary for different groups of older adults. We will work with older adults and commissioners to describe what each NN delivers including the groups of older adults who do or do not use them (and their reasons why), and better understand what aspects of NNs reduce loneliness and social isolation. We will also conduct a feasibility study to inform the design of a large-scale evaluation study.

Supporting UK-wide geothermal heat network deployment through a multilayered, place-based analysis

David BarnsCatherine Bale, Emma Bramham, Joseph Kelly, Fleur Loveridge, Arka Sarkar, Nick Shaw, James Van Alstine

The development of low carbon heat networks is key in enabling the UK to meet its legally-binding climate change targets. However, without clear ways to link heat users to economically and societally viable heat sources, upcoming UK Government’s Heat Network Zoning policies will be difficult to action. We will undertake a multi-layered analysis of energy demands and sources within an indicative heat network zone, using Leeds as a case study of a pioneer city for implementing zoning. We will bring interdisciplinary expertise on the geoscience of the subsurface together with social sciences of environmental policy and governance, and will work with local stakeholders to generate a framework and policy recommendations.

The project will include mapping and modelling to consider energy availability and storage opportunity in the subsurface, as well as energy from river or waste heat from commercial and industrial sites. We will explore the role of the spatial planning system through its ability to designate land for development and set development standards.

We will work with the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and additional relevant stakeholders to explore perspectives on geothermal and heat network viability in the context of heat network zoning and the requirements for model business cases which demonstrate scheme viability.

Scaling out place-based, community-centred food initiatives 

Effie Papargyropoulou, Rachel Oldroyd, Michelle Morris, Leticija Petrovic (Food Foundation)

Food insecurity (i.e. not having access to enough, nutritious, affordable food, or not knowing where your next meal will come from) affects 1 in 5 households in the UK. Food insecurity has increased following the COVID-19 pandemic and has been exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis. Moreover, global food production accounts for at least 30% of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions contributing to climate change.

Place-based, community-led food initiatives can increase food security and sustainability of the food system. They include food hubs, food banks, pantries, community cafes, community supported food growing schemes, social supermarkets etc, and they offer a range of activities such as food aid or surplus food redistribution, food skills training (e.g. food growing & cooking classes), community engagement and support (e.g. shared meals, signposting to other services). They support those affected by food insecurity, offer a local and more sustainable food supply chain, and deliver wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

This project will help us better understand how to scale up (i.e. increase the size) or out (i.e. replicate in more places) place-based, community-led food initiatives to increase their positive impact to communities, environment, and local economies across the UK.

This work builds a previous project with Foodwise Leeds titled Best practice in food hubs. Please see the section on Leeds City Council-facing projects 2022–23 for further details.

Tackling ‘cuckooing’ victimisation: establishing a research and practice network

Laura Bainbridge, Jennifer Griffiths (West Yorkshire Police), James Allen (Turning Lives Around), Heather Ashby (Leeds City Council)

Cuckooing’ is a situation where heroin and crack cocaine dealers associated with County Lines take over the homes of vulnerable people to prepare, store and/or sell drugs. Cuckooing is an inherently exploitative and predatory practice. Some victims may receive benefits for their cooperation (e.g. drugs or money), yet are likely to be subjected to serious threats, coercion, intimidation and violence. Cuckooing is a complex and evolving crime, and tackling it requires a multi-agency response that is designed to eliminate organised crime groups and target-harden potential victims.

The establishment of the Cuckooing Research and Practice Network will facilitate the exchange of cuckooing knowledge and promising practice between members – members that will span the academic, practitioner and policy-making spheres and the local, regional and national levels. This network will come together on two occasions during 2024.

In addition, the project team, led by Dr Laura Bainbridge, will collaborate to co-produce and evaluate a cuckooing risk assessment tool to be utilised by housing providers, and co-deliver three cuckooing prevention sessions to practitioners operating across West Yorkshire.

A strategic framework for delivering West Yorkshire International Trade Strategy

Emma Liu, Frank McDonald, Yingqi Wei, Giles Blackburne, Han Jin, and West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

This project continues collaboration with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) to deliver its International Trade Strategy 2022–2026. It aims to develop a policy framework to enhance the effectiveness of policy aimed at boosting exports thereby contributing to inclusive economic development across the region.

The complexity of the existing networks of agents hinders delivery of effective policy. Firms also find it difficult to navigate the system. By gathering and processing data from existing agents involved in export promotion, the project seeks to develop a policy framework that could deliver more effective policy and be more accessible to firms.  

The policy framework will be used to assess how policy might be better applied to tackle obstacles to exporting discovered in our previous research. These included increasing awareness about the benefits of exporting, improving help to overcome obstacles to exporting, better prepare firms to be successful exporters, and improve targeting of help according to firm size, international experience, sector/industry and especially by geographical location within the region. Issues connected to the challenges and opportunities arising from digital technologies will also be examined.

The ultimate objective is to improve the effectiveness of export promotions policy thereby helping to enhance economic wellbeing across all of the region.

This work builds on the Promoting inclusive growth via developing exporting project. Please see the section on Leeds City Council-facing projects 2022–23 for further details.

Quantifying abundance patterns and total population sizes of British deer using drone surveillance data

Alastair Ward, Anna Riach, British Deer Society

Wild deer are both an asset and a liability to the countryside. By browsing young trees and grazing ground vegetation, they threaten new woodlands planted for carbon capture, and hamper achievement of biodiversity targets in established conservation woodlands; both are national priorities within Defra’s 25-year plan for the environment. The Forestry Commission has drafted an England Deer Strategy to promote achievement of benefits and minimisation of the costs to society of the country’s deer populations via collaborative, landscape-scale deer impact management. However, as an evidence-based policy, it lacks information on the pattern of deer abundance across England and is not supported by knowledge of the size of deer populations. We propose to develop an online data-driven tool to map and quantify deer species abundance at a range of spatial scales, including the national scale.

The tool will be integrated with Forestry Services’ Data Dashboard for use by their Deer Officers, and will be made publicly available to support delivery of the Strategy.

Unlike previous attempts to quantify national deer populations, we will use cutting-edge predictive tools to analyse a new and extensive dataset that has been collected by state-of-the-art drone surveys over large areas of the country.

Establishing global norms for engaging ‘Formers’ in Counter Violent Extremism programmes

Gordon ClubbMargherita Belgioioso, Ryan Scrivens (Michigan State University), Mary-Beth Altier (New York University)

Programmes that Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) across the world – including in the UK - have often engaged former extremists to support their work through mentoring and community outreach. However this can be seen as a controversial practice which comes with risks for the organisation, the ‘Former’ and the public.  In some cases, the engagement of ‘Formers’ in CVE work can risk retraumatisating ‘Formers’, it can be exploitative or it can provide unfair benefits, it can present a risk to the intervention, or it can be simply ineffective. Yet there are also many benefits and the solution is to develop a framework which can safely manage engagement with ‘Formers’ based on best practice identified by practitioners and researchers.

The project will bring global practitioners together to develop, discuss and adopt ‘Norms and Standards for Engaging Formers in CVE Work’. Over several months, an advisory board of experts will co-produce a document of best practices. Then, at a hybrid workshop hosted in London alongside our global partners, the leading organisations will work to adopt these best practices into their programmes. Partners in the UK can benefit from exposure to best practices elsewhere and adopting resources that can support their CVE programme design.

The future of cultural devolution

Leila Jancovich, Ben Walmsley, Culture Commons

This project supports the University of Leeds involvement in a high-profile investigation into the future of ‘devolution’ policy and the relationship of increased local decision-making on the creative and cultural life of different types of communities, something both Jancovich and Walmsely have researched.

Led by Culture Commons, the investigation brings together a consortium of senior policy representatives from local governments, arm's length bodies, grant giving organisations, workforce representatives and leading sector networks across the UK.  

There is now a broad policy consensus that ‘further’ and ‘deeper’ decision-making powers for local government and communities is needed. However, Jancovich’s research shows that the potential of such initiatives is reduced by long-term decline in local government funding. This is widening geographic disparities both within and between regions in terms of investment in cultural services and the creative industries.  

In light of these socio-political trends, being part of the Culture Commons initiative represents a timely opportunity for University of Leeds to inform research-informed policy positions for consideration by local, regional and national policymakers. In so doing we aim to promote better quality local decision making and maximise the potential of the UK’s creative and cultural sector in delivering social, economic and outcomes. 

Find out more about the initiative on the Culture Commons webpage on The future of local cultural decision making

Leeds City Council Areas of Research Interest projects, 2023–24 

Five projects will be working with Leeds City Council addressing some of the issues raised in the Leeds City Council Areas of Research Interest.

The Leeds City Council Areas of Research Interest outline the Council’s knowledge needs around the topics of culture, digital, food, inclusive growth and place. They are intended to provide a starting point for conversations by making it easier to see what existing research would be of interest to the Council and highlighting where the Council may have an interest in future research and collaborations. The Areas of Research Interest were updated in July 2023. To read them in full, please download the Leeds City Council Areas of Research Interest for 2023 (Word document).

Mapping cultural education: access, inclusion, and progression in Leeds

Briony Thomas, Jamie Marsden, Gaby Paradis and Sarah Westaway (Leeds City Council), Giles Dring and Michelle Brook (Open Innovations)

Cultural engagement enriches the lives of individuals, communities, and nations. Schools provide a common environment for ensuring provision of high-value cultural education for children and young people from across different backgrounds. However, there is a lack of data available to understand the current cultural offering of schools, and how schools can build on their arts and cultural offering for young people.

By analysing and mapping cultural engagement data across schools in Leeds we aim to highlight the priorities for improving children’s access to culture. This research will help to identify the areas in need of support, and also highlight best practices and areas of excellence in the city. Therefore, this research will provide the evidence to inform the city’s vision, which is to be recognised as a national exemplar in the provision of creative and cultural opportunities for children and young people. By understanding how schools in Leeds are engaging with arts and culture, we will be able to provide a baseline of current cultural engagement that will help with measuring the impact that LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture has had on schools. This will be essential for informing Leeds City Council’s priorities for Culture, particularly LEEDS 2023 legacy and Children, Families and Young People.

This project builds off the back of work in “Mapping cultural engagement with schools in Leeds to inform cultural strategy”. Please see the section on Leeds City Council-facing projects 2022–23 for further details.

The carbon footprint of traditional food markets

Emily Ennis, Sara Gonzalez, Polly Cook and Steven Mason (Leeds City Council)

This research will assess the carbon footprint of foods sold within Leeds City Markets and understand the beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours around the sustainability of food held by traders within the Market. This will help us understand the role market space plays in beliefs around sustainability and what the perceived and actual barriers are for decreasing the carbon footprint size of the foods sold in Leeds markets.

This research has two components: 1) qualitative data collection, in the form of surveys and interviews; and 2) quantitative data collection, in the form of stock/procurement lists.

Through interviews and surveys we will assess how Leeds City Markets’ traders feel about sustainability and what they perceive are the barriers to achieving Net Zero or decreasing their carbon footprint size. It will also explore cultural differences in purchase habits and provision of foods, by speaking to traders who sell foods of diverse ethnic origins, to understand the potential implications of selecting lower carbon footprint foods for different cultural groups.

Focusing on the top 10 items sold by each tradesperson, we will analyse the carbon footprint of those items using CDRC’s carbon footprint calculator. The aim will be to: raise awareness of the footprint size of everyday items; identify if swaps to more sustainable options; and to assess whether stock list could be limited to the most popular items to minimise carbon footprint where substitutions would not be possible economically or culturally.

A clean energy supply for Leeds PIPES: laying the pipeline to zero-carbon heat networks

David BarnsCatherine Bale, Emma Bramham, Joseph Kelly, Fleur Loveridge, Arka Sarkar, Nick Shaw, James Van Alstine, George Munson (Leeds City Council).

The Leeds PIPES heat network provides low cost and lower carbon heat to thousands of council tenants, nondomestic customers and the council’s own buildings. However, the network’s heat is largely provided through combustion of non-recyclable waste at Leeds’ Renewable Energy Recovery Facility (RERF). With a limited lifetime for the RERF and the need for even lower carbon solutions going forward, it is essential that Leeds City Council (LCC) develop a strategy towards a zero-carbon trajectory in line with their climate commitments. Collaborating with LCC, Geosolutions Leeds will explore the potential for alternate low carbon energy resources in Leeds to help define policy on the use and provision energy within Leeds-based heat networks. These will include geothermal energy as well as other environmental energy sources including the River Aire and industrial waste heat and cooling needs.  

Geothermal energy may be particularly useful as a heat store as well as source of energy, helping with seasonal peaks in demand, whilst supporting the integration of other energy sources. We will combine our geoscience, engineering and social science expertise to explore how the Leeds PIPES network could evolve and provide pathways for LCC policy for development of future heat networks across Leeds and beyond.

Developing a pathway towards urban co-production for disused land in Leeds

Paul ChattertonRebecca Brunk, Marie Berthet-Meylan (independent researcher), Pete Tatham (Hyde Park Source), Mark Mills (Leeds City Council).

There is evidence from previous research that there is interest for communities to access disused land. Urban co-production projects are based on a collaboration between the local authority and community groups. Urban co-production has potential to improve residents’ lived environment, offers a more inclusive alternative to top-down urban management, as well as an alternative to the privatisation of public land. As such, there would be benefits for both Leeds City Council and Leeds residents to catalyse projects that allow community groups to develop disused pieces of land.

This project aims to explore the feasibility of Council/community partnerships for disused land. Involving partners with expertise in community gardening and alternative models of housing, we will explore already established models of urban co-production, map the benefits and barriers of such developments, and draft pathways to accelerate structural change for facilitating such projects in Leeds.  

The project aligns with ‘Place’ as a theme amongst Leeds City Council’s area of Research Interest, with an emphasis on three sub-themes, namely ‘Parks as a social asset’, ‘Unused spaces and regeneration’ and ‘Community engagement’.

It builds off two previous projects: ‘Integrating intercultural cities through belonging in green spaces’ and ‘Sustainable development and participatory placemaking: understanding city spaces’. Please see the section on Leeds City Council-facing projects 2022–23 for details of these projects.

Leeds’ model of community engagement

Katy Roelich, Katy Wright, Helen Graham, Radhika BordePaul Chatterton, Martin Elliot (Leeds City Council)

This project directly addresses Leeds City Council’s Areas of Research Interest on Community Engagement to listen to and include communities more fully in their decision-making processes and to shift power to sit with citizens and communities. We consider there are four key challenges that must be addressed to achieve this aspiration:

  • Exploring how Leeds City Council’s existing connections, such as through their work on Area Based Community Development (ABCD), can reach beyond those who usually engage in council consultation processes;
  • Using creative methods to engage citizens and communities with complex issues;
  • Balancing the aspirations of citizens and communities with the requirements of the Local Plan;
  • Using engagement to stimulate change both in Leeds City Council’s decision making and in communities themselves.  

This project will address all four challenges to build towards a Leeds Model for Community Power and Engagement, which will build deliberative capacity in Leeds City Council, citizens and communities, improve the effectiveness of the Council’s decision-making processes and stimulate change across the democratic system in Leeds. It will also start development of a Yorkshire and Humber Community of Practice on Community Engagement to build deliberative capacity across the region. 

In addition to Leeds City Council it will seek to work with Climate Action Leeds, Leeds Civic Trust, and Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.

Leeds City Council-facing projects 2022–23

In 2022–23, thirteen projects with Leeds City Council were awarded Research England funding. Ten of these responded to the 2022 Leeds City Council's Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) in culture, digital, food, and inclusive growth, and the other three were of interest to Leeds City Council.

Please see project entries for links to end-of-project presentations and resources where available.

Mapping advertising assets across Leeds 

Victoria Jenneson, Michelle Morris, Charlotte Evans

This research was the first investigation of exposure to outdoor advertising in Yorkshire. 

The data, explored through the Mapping Advertising Assets Project (MAAP) dashboard, has increased understanding of outdoor advertising exposure across the city of Leeds, and uncovers inequalities in the amount and types of advertising children and adults are exposed to according to where they live. 

This work has been extended with an award from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

Reuse to reduce food waste: understanding policy barriers preventing food upcycling

Alessandro Biraglia, Gulbanu Kaptan, Luca Sabini 

The project investigated existing policies around food production and waste management in the United Kingdom and how they can affect, positively or negatively, the reuse of discarded foodstuffs and by-products, also defined as “upcycled foods”. 

Two reviews were conducted. The first involved a comprehensive categorization of UK and unrepealed European Union policies that were then ordered along the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Food Waste Hierarchy to identify where intervention could be enacted to stimulate the upcycled food industry.  

The second review encompassed the identification and categorization of businesses that already operate some form of food upcycling in the UK, together with the creation of a database of the food businesses present in the Leeds Council Area. 

This led to a workshop on 20 June 2023 between academics, policy officials, businesses and third-sector organisations to actively discuss the challenges and opportunities of upcycled foods and generate a roadmap to pursue future implementations. 

The full report of the findings and the outcomes of the workshop will be also disseminated later in the year through both the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council channels. 

Watch Reuse to reduce food waste: understand policy barriers preventing food upcycling on YouTube.

Evidence-based policy secondment delivering the Leeds Food Strategy 

Neil Boyle and Louise Dye

Neil worked within the Leeds City Council’s Support Climate, Energy and Green Space policy team on a placement to support evidence-based policy activities related to delivery of the aims and priorities identified in the Leeds Food Strategy (LFS).  

This entailed the provision of insights towards the proposed introduction of a carbon-labelling system to LCC catering venues, for example public buildings and schools, as identified in the Leeds Food Strategy action plan. 

A small 5-week pilot study at Temple Newsam Café was conducted to gain insight into the drivers of food choice, attitudes to low carbon foods and carbon labelling. The data will be used to inform the targeted behaviour change interventions and carbon labelling that will be trialled within the facility going forward. 

Watch Delivering the Leeds Food Strategy: evidence-based policy secondment on YouTube

Best practice in Food Hubs

Effie Papargyropoulou, Foodwise Leeds 

Effie’s research evaluated how Food Hubs benefit communities and the food system, working with FoodWise Leeds and 50 food hubs in the Leeds city region. These hubs included food banks, food pantries, community kitchens, community gardens and community care hubs. 

An initial survey developed an understanding of the impacts of food hubs and the challenges they face. Focus groups were conducted with a sample of food hubs across Leeds to co-design an evaluation tool. The evaluation tool was put into practice to develop ten case studies of the impact of food hubs in Leeds.  

You can watch Food hubs for food security, health, inclusive growth and sustainability on YouTube, you can also read a post about this project on the Policy Leeds Medium blog. You can also find the policy brief, case studies, and evaluation toolkit coming out of this project on the Best Practice in Food Hubs webpage

Addressing inequalities in food and health experienced by those from African Caribbean backgrounds in Leeds 

Sally Moore, Peter Ho, Tanefa Apekey (University of Sheffield), Ether Bissell (Feel Good Factor)

This project worked in partnership with staff at a community organisation in Leeds, to evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of a culturally-adapted healthy eating education and cooking intervention. 

The intervention featured co-developed healthy eating recipes and resources involving traditional African Caribbean food

Preliminary analysis found a positive response from participants and staff towards the intervention. Participants indicated they anticipated continuing to use the resource and reported increased awareness and familiarity of healthy eating guidance. Staff reported they are likely to continue to use of the resources, including when supporting people from diverse backgrounds with healthier eating. 

They presented their research at the Nutrition Society Conference in July 2023 and in a paper, titled ‘Feasibility of a Community Healthy Eating and Cooking Intervention Featuring Traditional African Caribbean Foods from Participant and Staff Perspectives.’

You can watch Addressing inequalities in food and health experienced by those from African Caribbean backgrounds on YouTube or read a summary of the project on the Faculty of Environment website.


Promoting inclusive growth via developing exporting 

Yingqi Wei, Frank McDonald, Emma Liu, Han Jin 

This project aims to co-develop an inclusive growth framework via developing exporting to significantly strengthen export performance and inclusive growth in West Yorkshire.  

Working with WYCA, the team co-designed a survey to understand enablers and barriers for export activities in West Yorkshire that was then circulated to local firms. This was followed by a workshop on 4 July with researchers, businesses and policy makers to discuss the survey findings and potential interventions. The team is finalising a report that will include both findings based on firm survey and roundtable discussions. 

You can watch Promoting inclusive growth via developing exporting on YouTube, and find more details on the Promoting inclusive growth via developing exporting project page

Include! Digital inclusion within community organisations 

Joanne Armitage, Helen Thornham, Emma Treggedin (Space2) and Dawn Fuller (Space2

This project looked at how communities can feel greater ownership of place and culture through using digital technologies, and how this could be supported by the Digital Inclusion Practices and Policies of Leeds City Council. 

Working collaboratively with Space2 to develop participatory activities, Include! investigated what a community-centred, participatory, and creative version of digital inclusion would look like. With the Research England funding, the researchers explored this through a series of workshops with community participants, Space2 facilitators, and digital artists. 

This work was supported through the Research England Participatory Research Fund. 

Watch Include! Digital inclusion within community organisations on YouTube.

Centre for Cultural Value (CCV) – Building policy impact 

Anna Kime, Ben Walmsley 

Anna, Policy Officer at the Centre for Cultural Value, has been embedded in the LCC Culture Programmes team working across Investment, Impact and Inclusion policies. 

This has involved contributing to the re-design of the LCC Cultural Investment Programme, leading the revision of a data collection strategy to help LCC to capture and articulate the value of their work, and working with the Health and Wellbeing and Inclusive Growth teams to ensure cultural investment supports LCC's Best City Ambition. 

Anna will continue supporting the team until October 2023, focussing on communicating policy to the sector and the city and paving the way for the Cultural Strategy 2030 refresh due in 2024. 

Watch Supporting Leeds City Council in the development of cultural investment, impact and inclusion policy on YouTube.

Mapping cultural engagement with schools in Leeds to inform cultural strategy

Briony Thomas, Jamie Marsden, Gaby Paradis (Leeds City Council), Chris Ansell (Leeds 2023), Giles Dring and Michelle Brook (Open Innovations

This project sought to determine current levels of cultural engagement in schools, to help inform Leeds City Council’s priority for culture. 

They specifically examined the future legacy of LEEDS 2023 and the current cultural investment priorities for children, families and young people. This project conducted a pilot survey and developed a prototype open data resource that maps cultural engagement in schools across the city, enabling correlation with other open data sets, such as from the Office of National Statistics. 

Watch Mapping cultural engagement with schools in Leeds to inform cultural strategy on YouTube.

 Findings are made available as open data on the project website.

Integrating intercultural cities through belonging in green spaces

Gehan Selim, Pam Birtill, Rebecca Brunk, Jill Dickinson 

Working with community partners and Leeds City Council, this project worked to build a guidance report supporting the use of green spaces to build intercultural spaces and belonging.  

To learn more about the collaboration and the research, visit the Integrating intercultural cities through belonging in green spaces project outputs page.

Sustainable development and participatory placemaking: understanding city spaces 

Joanne Hawkins 

This project explored what sustainable development means using placemaking. Placemaking engages with how connections are formed in relation to physical spaces, a sense of place, and the associated interventions for such places in local policy and development decisions.   

Engaging local residents and organisations across Leeds, Joanne gained insight into the spaces across Leeds that matter to residents. The findings will be used to produce a publicly accessible briefing, and an interactive map showcasing highlighted spaces and why they matter, helping Leeds City Council and others shape local cultural and spatial policy.   

Watch Sustainable development and participatory placemaking: understanding city spaces on YouTube.

A participatory approach to enhanced surface water flood forecasting 

Cathryn Birch, Ben Maybee, Emma Cowan, Joe Holden 

This project builds on research developing an enhanced surface water flood forecasting tool for Yorkshire, in collaboration with the local flood response community.  

The work aimed to scale up the regional forecast system to cover the entire of England and Wales, allowing the forecasts to be incorporated into a Met Office UK summer testbed in 2023.  

The researchers are also building on the networks built with Yorkshire flood responders to pull together a national forum, which will engage and unite the national surface water flooding community. 

This work was supported through the Research England Participatory Research Fund. 

Watch Participatory approach to enhanced surface water flood forecasting on YouTube.

Promoting inclusive Human Resource management practices for NHS ethnic minorities colleagues’ wellbeing

Lynda Song, Ahmed Mostafa, Aleksandra Irnazarow 

Working with experts from NHS trusts, Leeds City Council, Healthwatch Leeds and beyond, this project looked how innovative Human Resource Management practice can improve inclusivity in the healthcare services to increase the wellbeing of its minority ethnic staff and service users.

This has led to the development of a training intervention on cultural competence for middle managers working in the NHS, social care, and public health organizations, developed in collaboration with third sector organisation Healthwatch.  

This project build on previous research exploring human resource management practices to improve the wellbeing of healthcare workers from BAME backgrounds in the context of COVID-19.  

Watch Culture intelligence training and Ethnic Minorities colleagues wellbeing in the NHS on YouTube

Get in touch

For more information about how we’re working with strategic partners to create a research informed approach to policy, please email Juliet Jopson at policyleeds@leeds.ac.uk