About Local Access Bradford District

Our Mission

We're here to help grow the new generation of social innovators and leaders in Bradford

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Driving impact in Bradford by investing in people

Our 2030 Vision

We want to build a dynamic, compassionate and inclusive social enterprise support ecosystem.

The Bradford district will be known as a social innovation and enterprise destination. LABD will help kick-start social innovation and proactively and inclusively enable the communities of our district.

LABD will support people, organisations and institutions who can and want to start new or expand existing ventures to tackle better our future and current societal challenges, including Covid-19 recovery and combating climate change.

Where it all began

In 2019 Access (The Foundation for Social Investment) and Big Society Capital invited twelve cities to submit proposals to their ten-year £33m programme of support for charities and social enterprises. Together, a consortium of Bradford organisations led by Impact Hub Bradford CIC developed a concept and proposal that led to the city’s selection, unlocking £6.6m of funding to build resilience and provoke social innovation. This initiative has launched as Local Access Bradford District, providing a foundation for social innovation in Bradford in the coming decade.


Our delivery partners

Organisations representing social investment, enterprise support, corporates, social enterprises and local communities have pooled their talents to create an inclusive and collaborative partnership with the district’s citizens to tackle its biggest challenges and create a culture of social innovation.

Ready to make an impact?

Applications for our first LABD programme are now open. Are you a Bradford based entrepreneur passionate about social impact and improving the lives of people in your community? Then apply now to be part of our fist cohort.

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Impact in Bradford

Our partnerships hope to address some of the key challenges including unemployed and skills through the programme, by encouraging young people to pursue social enterprise routes, and making Bradford a centre for social innovation.

The City of Bradford's town hall lit up at night.

Bradford in context

The Bradford District is the fifth largest Metropolitan Local Authority District in England, with over 530,000 people, 16,000 businesses and 4,500 Voluntary Community Social Enterprises contained within it. It is the youngest district in the UK with nearly a third of the population aged under 20. And it’s diverse – ethnic minorities form a third of the population with more than 150 languages spoken within the district. During the development stage of Local Access, the partnership undertook a mapping exercise to help build an understanding of the state of the sector:

  • At least thirty-three organisations are providing support to VCSE Sector - from seed funding to co-working spaces.
  • There is an established VCSE Sector infrastructure network, with five community anchor organisations supporting local charities and enterprises from start-up to trading, located in deprived wards.
  • In parallel, there are five Community Network organisations supporting the sector and building new relationships across the public, private and statutory sector.

As such there is an existing ecosystem of support for the VCSE sector, although it is somewhat disparate and fragmented. Despite the opportunities, there are several key challenges facing the district, some pre-existing and others made more acute by the pandemic including:

  • Unemployment: Bradford’s unemployment rate is the highest in the Leeds City Region, and above the national average
  • Deprivation: The District is the second most deprived local authority in the Yorkshire and Humber region, and nineteenth most deprived in England
  • Education and Skills: Bradford is one of the 10 cities with the lowest percentages of residents with the highest qualifications., which is amongst the lowest level in the whole country significantly lower than nearby Leeds

Whilst there has been some investment activity through community asset transfers, with Bradford Council is working with community businesses and transferring assets such as community centres, village halls and building land, social investment activity in the region has been limited, with Key Fund (based in Yorkshire) historically deploying relatively few investments in Bradford.