A City Collaboratory approach to early promotion of good health and wellbeing

UKPRP award £6.5 million for 5 years, with additional in-kind investment from the consortium’s partners

ActEarly aims to improve the life chances of children by focusing on improving the environments that influence their health.

Image provided by Born in Bradford


Our research

ActEarly aims to improve the life chances of children by focusing on improving the environments that influence their health. Three themes will be examined: (i) on healthy places, considering the environments in which children live and attend school, and examining how these could increase physical activity, reduce obesity, and improve mental wellbeing, for example; (ii) healthy learning, focussing on how learning is linked to place and community interactions that facilitate learning; and (iii) healthy livelihoods, considering what is good for children’s learning and social engagement. The research will extend the applicant’s work in Bradford and include Tower Hamlets in London, two ethnically diverse areas of the UK with high levels of child poverty. The two sites are intended to enable testing of the replicability of research approaches and generalisability of interventions.

The consortium’s overall approach is to evaluate the cumulative effect of multiple system-wide interventions on improving children health. Co-production of interventions with users and local communities will be informed by evidence synthesis and will follow citizen science methods and asset-based community development approaches. Policy simulation modelling will be conducted to assess the long-term impacts of interventions, and data sources include longitudinal data from the Born in Bradford cohort.

On 25 September 2019 the UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP) held a kick off meeting with award holders from the first funding round.  Download the slides presented by ActEarly (PPT, 3MB)..

Consortium members

ActEarly’s membership includes:

  • co-investigators with varied expertise, including in simulation modelling, informatics, and social and housing policy.
  • users from Bradford Metropolitan District Council, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, the Local Government Association (LGA), Public Health England (PHE) and Sport England.
  • charities and Non-Governmental Organisations such as Bromley by Bow Centre and Nesta.

For further details see the ActEarly website.

David Rudlin


The Academy of Urbanism

Alex Spragg

Programme Director

Better Start Bradford

Kersten England

Chief Executive

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

Anne-Marrie Canning MBE

Director of Social Mobility and Student Success

King’s College London/Independent Chair of Bradford Opportunity Area

David van Heel

Professor of Genetics

Queen Mary University of London

David Pye

Programme Manager for Research (Research Lead)

Local Government Association

Halima Khan

Executive Director

Health People and Impact, Nesta

Daniel Farag

Director, Health Lab

People Powered Results, Nesta

Arpana Verma

Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology, Head of the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care

University of Manchester

Andy Cope

Director of Insight


Will Tuckley

Chief Executive

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Nigel Harrison

Chief Executive Officer

Yorkshire Sport Foundation

Claire Cameron

Professor of Social Pedagogy and Deputy Director


Daisy Fancourt

Senior Research Fellow in Psychobiology/Epidemiology


Jane West

Director of Public Health Research

Director of Public Health Research

Jens Kandt

Lecturer in Urban Geography and Data Science


Jessica Sheringham

Senior Research Fellow, Hon Consultant in Public Health

UCL/CLAHRC North Thames

Josie Dickerson

Programme Manager, Better Start Bradford Innovation Hub, Born in Bradford


Kate Pickett

Professor of Epidemiology, University Champion for Research on Justice and Equality, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Future Health

University of York

Laura Vaughan

Professor of Urban Form and Society


Marcella Ucci

Associate Professor in Environmental and Healthy Buildings


Maria Bryant

Reader in Public Health Nutrition

University of York

Neil Small

Professor of Health Research

University of Bradford

Paul Longley

Professor of Geographic Information Science/Director, Consumer Data Research Centre


Richard Cookson

Professor, Centre for Health Economics

University of York

Robert Aldridge

Associate Professor and Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Career Development Fellow


Robert Savage

Professor and Head of Department in Psychology and Human Development


Rosie McEachan

Director, Born in Bradford Research Programme

Bradford Institute for Health Research

Steven Cummins

Professor of Population Health

London School of Health and Tropical Medicine

Muki Haklay

Professor of Geographic Information Science


George B. Ploubidis

Professor of Population Health and Statistics, Director of Research & Chief Statistician

University College London

Nicholas Pleace

Professor of Social Policy and Director, Centre for Housing Policy

University of York

Daniel Greenwood


Bradford District, West Yorkshire Police

Mark Mon-Williams

Chair in Cognitive Psychology

University of Leeds

Andrew Hayward

Director of the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care

University College London

Sally Barber

Principal Research Fellow

Bradford Institute for Health Research

Carol Dezateux

Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Data Science

Queen Mary University of London