Health boost as £350,000 of funding awarded to reduce inequality

Independent charity The Health Foundation has awarded funding to Glasgow City Region.

Health boost as £350,000 of funding awarded to reduce inequality iStock

Almost £350,000 of funding will be awarded to Glasgow City Region to improve public health and reduce health inequalities throughout the greater Glasgow area. 

Independent charity The Health Foundation has selected the city region to be part of its new funding programme, aimed at strengthening relationships between economic development and heath. 

The Economies for Healthier Lives programme is providing a total of £2.1m to support four partnerships from across the UK for up to three years and the city region is one of them.

Part of the project will also see the development of a £10bn scheme to insulate more homes in the district. 

Susan Aitken, chairwoman of the Glasgow City Region cabinet and leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Glasgow City Region has a long history of economic and health inequality.

“Local large-scale investment has often focused on physical regeneration and economic outcomes. We need a new approach that considers the likely health, wellbeing and inequality outcomes of large-scale capital infrastructure spend.” 

The project will create a set of guidelines which developers can use to make sure the health and equality of residents are considered in the planning and design of any new city buildings.

There will be a four-stage approach to the project’s development with the first stage looking at current decision-making processes on regional large-scale capital infrastructure projects. 

Building on this, stage two will use learning gained to develop the new ‘Capital Investment Health Inequalities Impact Assessment’ (CHIIA) tool and test it on projects of various sizes, types and stages of development. 

This will include piloting the tool on the Glasgow City Region Housing Retrofit programme – a proposed £10bn scheme to insulate homes across the region.

The third stage will be about making changes to the tool based on the learning and putting it into everyday practice, through training users and continued monitoring. 

Finally, stage four will involve bringing together all the project learning and sharing this widely across Scotland and the rest of the UK.   

Councillor Aitken added: “The core ethos of our GCR partnership’s economic ambition and duty is to deliver inclusive economic growth where all people and communities are able to share in and benefit from the prosperity.

“I strongly endorse the development of a toolkit which would ensure that we continue to be mindful of this imperative.

“With our current City Deal investment and other planned large-scale programmes, there is an enormous opportunity in the next few years to make a step change in outcomes for healthier, happier, safer and more sustainable communities.”

Claire Sweeney, director of place and wellbeing at Public Health Scotland, added:“Public Health Scotland’s mission is to support long-lasting good health and wellbeing in all our communities – especially the most disadvantaged.

“Local government is responsible for many of the foundations of community health and wellbeing, and this project will help create the economic conditions which enable better population health outcomes across the Glasgow City Region.”

By local democracy reporter Catherine Hunter

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