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Health inequalities research project

Blackpool Council and partners have been awarded 5 years of funding for a health inequalities research project, known nationally as the Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC), by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). Health inequalities are unfair and avoidable differences in health between groups of people.

As one of 13 local authorities across the UK to be successful in the first round, the funding will help us to find out exactly why health inequalities exist and how we might transform our services and systems to work better for our local communities.


Funded by NIHR National Institute for Health and Care Research.


What makes the HDRC different is that it will use the day to day experiences of Blackpool residents to inform decisions about how council and health services are designed and delivered with the aim of ultimately improving people’s health, especially those facing the greatest challenges.

We will be focusing on four priority areas:

  • Early years
  • Education, employment and skills
  • Housing
  • Mental health

The Blackpool community will be at the heart of this project. Working together as co-researchers, we will ensure that local people’s experiences of facing health inequalities drives our work. 

Our project will be a close collaboration with partners such as Lancaster University, Empowerment Charity, Boingboing Foundation and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals. 

Together, we will find solutions that will make a difference to people’s lives. 


The day-to-day work of the HDRC team will be to:

  • Create spaces where local people can work with the council, NHS and Universities to decide what research is important and how it should be done
  • Bring together different types of knowledge about the health inequalities people are facing in Blackpool and what we can do about them. For example, from local people, local services and community organisations, universities and national organisations
  • Support council departments and elected members to use this knowledge when making council decisions
  • Train people in research skills
  • Support people to champion research in communities and council departments
  • Speed up collection and analysis of information to support change
  • Speak up about what they find, so that up-to-date evidence informs decision making 

Coming soon

People have told us that although the nationally the project is called HDRC, that locally they would like a name that reflects our ambitions in Blackpool. We are working with our community to find a new name.

Watch this space for an announcement soon!

Get involved

We'll be updating this page with more details on how you can get involved soon.

Do you need more information on the Blackpool health inequalities project? Email

More information 


This programme is funded by the NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaborations enable local authorities to become more research-active, embedding a culture of evidence-based decision making. The NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC) Blackpool is part of the NIHR and hosted by Blackpool Council.