£126,000 NHS England grant funding to launch Barton Healthy New Town project

Published: Thursday, 25th August 2016

The City Council has launched a new project to contribute to the improvement of health and wellbeing in the Barton area, courtesy of grant funding from NHS England.

Barton Oxford LLP, a partnership between Oxford City Council and property investment and development company Grosvenor Developments Limited (Grosvenor), has secured £126,000 in grant funding from NHS England to promote health and wellbeing in the Barton area of Oxford.

The funding follows the selection of Barton Park, the new housing development adjacent to the existing Barton estate, as one of 10 NHS Healthy New Town demonstrator sites in March this year. NHS England will work with Barton Oxford LLP, the City Council and health partners to inform the way Barton Park develops, and improve synergies between the design of the built environment and health and wellbeing initiatives.

Part of the grant funding will go towards the employment of a project officer, research into baseline health indicators in Barton, and a grants programme. Up to £30,000 will be awarded as grants to fund initiatives that will help to contribute towards improving health and wellbeing and support integration between Barton and Barton Park.

The City Council, which is administering the project, is inviting applications from interested groups to deliver projects that will address the priorities identified in the Barton Health Plan, which include:

  • Reducing obesity and food poverty
  • Addressing mental health issues
  • Addressing addiction (alcohol, drugs, smoking etc), and
  • Tackling isolation and loneliness

The City Council is working to deliver the Barton Healthy New Town project with the help of a steering group comprising Oxfordshire Public Health, Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and Grosvenor

Councillor Ed Turner, Deputy Leader of Oxford City Council and Board Member for Finance, Asset Management and Public Health, said: “I am thrilled this money has been awarded.  Investing in well-designed communities and in particular in projects which can tackle the causes, as well as the symptoms, of poor health, is an excellent idea from which local people and also the NHS stand to reap benefits. This is exactly the direction health services should be going in.”

Alex Robinson, Project Director at Grosvenor, commented: “Thoughtful urban design that encourages and enables wellbeing is essential to building great neighbourhoods. Our ambition for Barton Park is to exemplify this approach, promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

“We are very pleased Barton Park has received funding to support its growth as an NHS Healthy New Town demonstrator site. This funding will not only support a research project but will allow for a dedicated resource to work closely with Grosvenor, the NHS and Oxford City Council to develop a strategy that will strengthen links between the existing and new Barton communities, to ensure the benefits of the Healthy New Towns scheme are shared by all.”   

Grant applications, of up to £5,000 for each successful bid, are open until noon on Tuesday 13 September 2016. Interested groups can call the Communities Team at Oxford City Council on 01865 252033, email communities@oxford.gov.uk, or visit www.oxford.gov.uk/grants for more details.