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HEFCE closed at the end of March 2018. The information on this website is historical and is no longer maintained.

Many of HEFCE's functions will be continued by the Office for Students, the new regulator of higher education in England, and Research England, the new council within UK Research and Innovation.

The HEFCE domain - - will continue to function until September 2018. At this point we will close the site entirely and all its information will only be available from the National Web Archive.


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Building best practice

The Leading Places Programme is a joint programme to build and transfer best practice in collaborative leadership between combined or local authorities, universities and other local anchor institutions. The programme is owned by the Local Government Association, with support from HEFCE.

Phase 1 of Leading Places involved six local area partnerships and concluded in March 2017. Phase 2 began in July 2017 and involves 15 local area partnerships.

What is the programme?

Kevin Richardson, HEFCE's Local Growth Consultant, and Tracy Allan, Regional Consultant at HEFCE, discuss Phase 1 of the programme, designed to help areas drive growth, re-design public services and strengthen the relationship between communities and academic institutions.

In many places formal and informal relations already exist between universities and their civic partners. But common institutional barriers and related challenges often make working in partnership harder. 

The Leading Places Programme uses Action Learning Partnerships (ALPs) to design and deliver practical solutions to priority challenge themes identified by local senior leadership groups. The issues chosen are ones where the existing knowledge base in local universities is inherently strong.

The ALPs that successfully applied to be part of Leading Places Phase 2 cover a broad range of thematic areas and contain a mix of local partners.

Find out more about the partnerships on the Local Government Association’s website.

Phase 1 of Leading Places

Phase 1 involved six local partnerships. Find out more about the Phase 1 partnerships.

This phase of the programme concluded in March 2017 and was independently evaluated by Dr Peter O'Brien, Deputy Local Growth Consultant at HEFCE.

Benefits of the programme

Stakeholders of Brighton’s Leading Places partnership highlight the benefits of participating in the Leading Places programme and the progress they have made. 

More information

For more information contact Michael Wood, Deputy Local Growth Consultant at HEFCE, email or view the LGA’s Leading Places website.

Page last updated 6 November 2017

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