Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


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

ActEarly is an ambitious five-year collaboration between researchers in Yorkshire and London, statutory, voluntary, cultural and commercial sectors and local communities. It seeks to promote a healthier, fairer future for children living in deprived areas through a focus on improving environments that influence health and life chances. Our focus is on early life in recognition of childhood and adolescence being such critical periods for influencing lifelong health and well-being.

The approach is based on the creation of City Collaboratories in areas of high child poverty. These will provide research-ready, people-powered and data-linked test beds to co-produce, implement and evaluate multiple novel early life interventions to prevent disease and reduce inequalities. Our City Collaboratory approach will provide a whole system environment where the public, scientists, policy leaders and practitioners work with each other to develop and test system-wide early life upstream prevention solutions. We will create City Collaboratories first in Bradford (a post-industrial city in the North of England), and then in Tower Hamlets (a London borough) to support the identification, implementation and evaluation of upstream interventions in areas with high levels of child poverty. We will apply our ActEarly Collaboratory model to three inter-linked themes that were identified collectively during the development phase of our programme: Healthy Places, Healthy Learning and Healthy Livelihoods.

DAHR is contributing to the evaluation of ActEarly.

Principal Investigators

Professors John Wright and Andrew Hayward


ActEarly website:  https://actearly.org.uk/

  • Bradford Institute for Health Research
  • University of York
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Bradford
  • UCL -  Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care; Centre for Transport Studies;  Bartlett School of Architecture;  Extreme Citizen Science group &  Consumer Data Research Centre, Department of Geography;  Institute of Education;  Institute of Health Informatics;  Centre for Longitudinal Studies
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • University of Cambridge

Statutory and voluntary partners

  • Bradford Council
  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • Bromley by Bow Centre, London

Funder: UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP)

Start Date and duration:

1 June 2019 – 31 May 2024

Contact Email Address