Design in the public sector

Delivered in a partnership between the LGA and the Design Council, the Design in Public Sector programme equips councils with design skills and techniques to apply to their toughest service challenges.


In the latest phase of the programme, 14 projects across England have been selected onto the Design in Public Sector programme to help address complex public health challenges and improve outcomes for their residents.

Northern cohort

  • Derbyshire – cutting smoking amongst pregnant women
  • Stockton-on-Tees - reducing levels of alcohol harm down to in line with the national average
  • Cheshire East - improving people’s health in Crewe
  • Solihull Council and Birmingham - increasing physical activity amongst the “unusual suspects”, increase social cohesion and increase numbers of public spaces being brought into use.
  • Tameside – increasing the number of people being physically active
  • Chorley Council and Lancashire - increasing home adaptations to reduce waiting times and enable people to stay living independently in their homes.
  • Liverpool City Council - reducing child mortality

Southern cohort

  • Surrey County Council - Improving life outcomes for children born to younger parents.
  • East Sussex County Council – better working with the VCS to reduce the life expectancy gap from the most deprived to the least deprived wards in the county.
  • Bristol City Council – reducing the number of MRSA infections occurring to local IV drug users to in line with the national average.
  • Portsmouth City Council - increasing air quality and also increasing physical activity by encouraging people out of their cars.
  • South Cambridgeshire District Council – increasing physical activity by encouraging more sustainable modes of transport in new housing developments resulting from local planned economic growth.
  • Adur and Worthing – working differently with local businesses to increase the number of people furthest from the job market getting employment
  • Maldon District Council and Essex CC – increasing children’s resilience to mental health issues

Watch behind the scenes testimonials of the Design in the Public Sector Programme

The key elements of the programme are:

  • Builds design skills and capabilities within the council and across partners, to improve service outcomes
  • Delivers an accelerated learning experience for local authorities
  • Creates new insights and evidence to generate solutions
  • Enables new ways of working with partners and stakeholders
  • Encourages peer learning and development of regional support networks
  • Funded by the LGA, delivered by Design Council.

Here you will find resources that share the learning and examples of projects that the programme has helped councils with. This is via videos, case studies and blogs.