Aerial view over the City of Belfast along the River Lagan with Lagan Bridge in the foreground

UK invests £20m in partners to tackle regional inequality

UK Research and Innovation has announced that it has awarded millions of pounds of funding to address regional inequalities across the United Kingdom, whilst driving local growth.

Four Local Policy Innovation Partnerships in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Yorkshire have been allocated almost £20 million of funding to bring together stakeholders and ‘harness the power of research’ as they address the regional disparities that may be holding the UK back. The partnerships will see collaboration between devolved governments, local authorities, local businesses, and communities to create new opportunities and improve outcomes.

The partnerships are as follows:

  • Wales – The Welsh project will develop an inclusive and sustainable rural economy by presenting local government, communities and businesses with the evidence that is required to build prosperity and reduce inequalities through decision-making.
  • Scotland – The project in Scotland will focus on how to build inclusive economic opportunities.
  • Northern Ireland – A project in Northern Ireland will look to boost skills that will lead to the tackling of unemployment and improving economic growth.
  • Yorkshire – Yorkshire’s project will support inclusive and sustainable job growth, as well as focusing on low-income, marginalised, and isolated communities.
PSE Map UKRI funding

Head of UKRI’s Creating Opportunities, Improving Outcomes theme, Professor Alison Park, 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.”

Funding for the programme comes from UKRI, and the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and Innovate UK, with it being allocated after a two-phase competitive process.

Andrew Griffith, Minister for Science, Research, and Innovation, also commented:

“Harnessing the strength of our brightest and best researchers and innovators system will drive growth across the UK while strengthening our Union.

“If we build on the potential of research and science clusters in the areas that need the most support, we can address local challenges and take advantage of new opportunities, ultimately creating hubs of highly skilled jobs and growth.

“The second phase of the Local Policy Innovation Partnership programme will do just that, supporting researchers to continue finding solutions to problems that matter to communities and foster sustainable growth throughout the UK.”

Supporting the four projects will be a Birmingham-based Local Policy Innovation Partnerships hub, which will share the data, evidence, learning and best practice that is relevant to reducing regional inequality.


Image credit: iStock


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