Leeds Inclusive Anchors Network


For the city’s largest employers to come together and make a difference for people across the city. The group has increased the number of local businesses engaged in its supply chains with over £1bn of goods and services purchased locally and engaging with more than 3,000 young people to support progression into higher education.


Leeds Inclusive Anchors Network is a group of the city’s largest (mainly) public sector employers. They come together and focus on areas where they can make a difference for people as an employer, through procurement, through service delivery or as a civic partner. Anchors are locally-rooted, have high spend, provide vital services and are influencers, enablers and champions within the city. There are 13 anchor institutions in Leeds: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds City College, Leeds and York Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, University of Leeds, Leeds College of Building, Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds City Council, NHS Digital, Yorkshire Water, British Library and Northern Gas Networks.

What has been delivered?

  • Increased the number of local businesses engaged in its supply chains with over £1bn of goods and services purchased locally.
  • Engaged local communities in employability programmes, training and apprenticeships.
  • Recently committed to producing a diversity dashboard, in partnership with the Open Data Institute (ODI) Leeds, to collectively report and take action on diversity pay gaps – ensuring the workforce of the largest publicly-funded organisations in the city is representative of the communities it serves and that they work more closely with the city’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods, getting local people into work.

What was the impact/next steps?

A few examples of the impact of the network include:

  • Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust’s (LTHT) work with the multi-agency partnership Lincoln Green Core team to develop a targeted programme recruiting people into jobs. The April 2018 pilot saw 29 local residents secure jobs and 20 more people recruited in a second cohort.
  • The University of Leeds’ (UoL) dentistry outreach programme, enabling Year 12 school students to gain an insight into studying dentistry. Dentistry students also run an ‘Open Wide’ programme in schools and colleges to educate children about oral hygiene and guide young people towards a career in dentistry. UoL also engages with thousands of learners across the region, including via their IntoUniversity centres in Harehills and Beeston which engage with 3,000+ young people to support progression into higher education and local learning.
  • Leeds Beckett University’s (LBU) Law School in New Wortley, another priority neighbourhood, offers a supervised law clinic module, interviewing clients, researching legal problems and providing written advice. This brings students closer to the community and provides confidential access to free legal advice for the public whilst delivering a first-class student experience.
  • LBU has also developed social value criteria in its procurement activity enabling it to increase the proportion of its discretionary spending from 25% (2019) to 60% (2021). Targeted work with suppliers has resulted in 72% of spend with SMEs and 20% with firms in the 15 most disadvantaged neighbourhoods. LBU’s Leeds Business School provides support to these organisations, seeking to strengthen supply chain resilience. Leeds Anchor institutions in total spend 52% of their discretionary spend in Leeds, retaining £1bn+ in the city.
  • The planned New Hospitals Programme provides an opportunity to embed anchor approaches and maximise economic impact and social value, e.g. by using the supply chain, design and construction to target employment and skills initiatives in disadvantaged communities. There are also opportunities to embed environmental sustainability.
  • The Anchors Network is intending to establish mechanisms to integrate climate/environmental activity into the Leeds Anchors programme for future projects.