The Institute for Community Studies is engaged in an ambitious three-year programme with Sheffield Hallam and partners, supporting universities to develop ‘civic leadership’ to maximise their local social and economic impact.

The National Civic Impact Accelerator (NCIA) will gather evidence, share innovations, and provide universities with the framework and tools to deliver meaningful, measurable civic strategies and activities. Working collaboratively with key institutions in cities and neighbourhoods across the UK, the NCIA will support the development of stronger, whole-system approaches to working with local communities towards social, economic and environmental change.

The programme has been awarded £3.7m funding by Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It will bring universities, local government, businesses, and community groups together to drive place-based transformations.

There is growing civic leadership across the sector, and a desire for more support and collaboration to help realise universities’ civic potential. Through this programme, we aim to deliver impact beyond the sector through strengthened relationships, collaboration and greater alignment between universities and local ecosystems.

– Richard Calvert, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University

The NCIA will be led by Sheffield Hallam University in partnership with the Institute for Community Studies, the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), West Midlands Regional Development Institute at the University of Birmingham, Queen Mary University of London, and the OECD. The programme is also backed by the wider resources and partners of the Civic University Network.

This timely investment will be incredibly valuable to the many organisations working to support thriving civic partnerships and places within the UK. This includes universities, local government and the charity and community sector who are at a point where better-quality evidence, knowledge mobilisation and learning are much needed.

– Emily Morrison, Head of the Institute for Community Studies

Find out more at

2019 Newcastle-upon-Tyne University Open Day, Tyne and Wear, England, UK. There are students with their parents on the public grounds of the University campus.

Institute for Community Studies Posted on: 30 September 2022


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