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Tram network, Manchester

Taking a local approach to ageing

We want more people to live in age-friendly communities.

In age-friendly communities, people of all ages actively participate, it is easy for people to stay connected, active and healthy in later life, and appropriate support is available to those who need it.

Taking a local approach to ageing

Age-friendly communities are built around suitable homes and neighbourhoods, designed to encourage physical activity, be safe and bring people of all ages together. They enable people to contribute to and receive support from their community. 
We are working in partnership with places that want to become more age-friendly, helping them find what will make the most difference in their local context. 

Why work on it? 

Most parts of England are undergoing a profound shift in their demographics as more people are living longer, the baby boomers' age and birth rates are historically low. Many local areas see this as a challenge, and focus on the pressures on public services and budgets, particularly social care. But we also know that the ageing population is an opportunity if the assets and skills of people in later life are harnessed. 

We will work with and support places that want to embrace this opportunity to systematically apply evidence, learn from each other and develop and test innovative new approaches. 

By working together we hope to increase the number of people who are enjoying a good later life in these areas. We will work with localities to help them build age-friendly communities by: 

  • Adopting and implementing evidence of what works to improve later life for local people 
  • Designing and testing innovative approaches to tackling inequalities in later life 
  • Harnessing resources and ideas from different people and organisations in order to respond to specific local issues and challenges 
  • Sharing what we learn with other areas and national policy makers. 
What we’re working on
  • In October 2017, we launched our second strategic locality partnership with Leeds City Council and Leeds Older People’s Forum. With an initial focus on transport, community and neighbourhoods, and housing, the partnership will support Leeds’ ambition to become ‘The Best City to Grow Old In'.
  • Our first locality partnership with Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will run until 2021. We are working with Greater Manchester to realise their commitment to becoming an age-friendly city region. The partnership represents a major opportunity to harness GMCA’s devolved powers and budgets, alongside evidence and good practice from the region and beyond, in order to improve later life for people across Greater Manchester. 
  • We support the UK Age-friendly Communities Network to learn from each other, apply what works and share their successes and challenges more widely. 
  • We aim to establish a third localities partnership with a rural and/or coastal locality over the course of 2018 and will be inviting expressions of interest early in the year.
pointing at map

Ageing Better is keen to explore strategic partnerships with other localities.

The process for engaging and developing partnerships with localities
  • In addition to our partnerships with Greater Manchester and Leeds, we are aiming to establish a third localities partnership with a rural and/ or coastal locality in 2018
  • Exploring, developing and implementing new localities partnerships is a joint endeavour, not a bidding process
  • We see it as an opportunity to understand the alignment between ourselves and the locality, identifying potential areas for joint action and impact

Localities can express their interest in developing a partnership with Ageing Better by contacting us at

Get involved
  • Are you are doing relevant research? 
  • Do you have ideas about how the Centre for Ageing Better can make the most difference? 
  • Do you share our ambitions and would like to explore how you could contribute or work with us? 
  • Please get in touch if you have information to contribute or ideas you'd like to share.