Maximising the local impact of anchor institutions: a case study of Leeds City Region

David Devins, Jeff Gold, George Boak, Robert Garvey and Paul Willis

This report looks at anchor institutions in Leeds City Region, examining how the impact of these big spenders can be maximised for the region as a whole.

Anchor institutions such as local authorities, hospitals, universities, housing associations and large private sector organisations are often the biggest spenders and employers in a city region, making a vital contribution to the local economy. 

This report was commissioned as part of the ‘More jobs, better jobs’ partnership between the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), Leeds City Council and the Leeds City Region (LCR). It presents findings from a review of practice internationally and action research in the LCR, conducted between September 2014 and July 2016, which can be applied to other regions.

The research finds that:

  • At a time when public sector reform and greater devolution are creating space for these organisations to contribute to wider social, health and economic development objectives, there are major opportunities to achieve more inclusive economic growth.
  • Realising these wider benefits requires innovation and new forms of collaboration between anchor institutions within and across sectors. 
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