Work is underway to appoint the first roles for a £4.8 million  scheme that will create a health research centre that looks into health issues affecting people in north and west Cumbria. 

Cumberland Council is benefitting from the funding provided by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) to initiate its new NIHR Health Determinants Research Collaboration (HDRC). 

The goal is to enable bodies to be more research-active, incorporating evidence-based decision-making in all activities.

The NIHR Cumberland HDRC, in association with the University of Cumbria, came into existence on January 1, 2024.

The money will go towards creating a research team to work with voluntary sector partners, with the primary focus being on the more deprived communities across the new local authority area. 

Councillor Lisa Brown, deputy leader of Cumberland Council, said: "This is a really exciting time for the council as we embark on this evidence-led approach to tackling many of the health issues in our area.

"As a new council we have put tackling health inequalities central to what we do and we now have a real opportunity working with our partners such as the University of Cumbria, to think differently and help shape our communities for the better.

 "Therefore, I'd encourage anyone with an interest in these posts to find out more and apply and be part of this exciting new project." 

The council is now hiring for the first roles, including a Research and Innovation Manager leading the scheme, as well as two research officers.

Professor Brian Webster-Henderson, deputy vice-chancellor at the university, said: "We hold shared ambitions with Cumberland Council of addressing some of the unique challenges and health inequalities that face our region.

"Through the real-world research they will do in and for our communities, together we will gain a much better understanding of the health issues across the area - important research which will shape and improve lives for generations to come."

The last date for applications for the first three leading roles is March 26.

More information can be found on the council's website at