IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs in Bradford to find new ways to reduce air pollution

Born in Bradford’s ‘BiB Breathes’ study is a partnership between Born in Bradford and Bradford Council and has been set up to evaluate the impact of the Bradford Clean Air Plan on pollution and health within the city. Air pollution causes up to 64,000 deaths every year in the UK and Bradford data shows that is responsible for a third of children’s asthma within the city. The BiB breathes team  are working with schools across the district to train primary school age pupils to monitor pollution on their journey to and from school and to find ways of helping families to reduce their exposure.

IVE are a creative education agency that design and deliver programmes to develop people’s creativity. Their aim is to unleash the power of creativity to build better futures for people, the economy and the planet. IVE work with environmentally responsible organisations that are willing and able to play an active role in supporting young people to make positive environmental change. IVE’s Applied Creativity Labs aim to give children and young people the creative behaviours and thinking skills they need to develop innovative solutions to real world challenges. Never before has the need to find new ways to tackle climate change been more important. As the impact of climate change intensifies over time, it is the children and young people of today who will face the worst effects.


IVE have already teamed up with BiB breathes to offer creativity labs to two schools within Bradford which built skills, inspired creativity and raised aspirations for over 30 young people living in Bradford which was reported in local and regional press (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JxIxdyEXHI). The learning gain impact report on the programme showed a 53% increase in communication, 38% increase in creative problem-solving skills, 32% in divergent thinking skills, a 22% increase in ability to come up with new ways of reducing air pollution in Bradford and an 18% increase in confidence when presenting. These and 11 other learning aspects are measured via Learning Gain reports.

We know wish to build on this success to  deliver Applied Creativity Labs  to a further 11 schools involved in the BiB breathes project to develop children and young people’s creative thinking skills and behaviours and enable  them to find new solutions to the very real world challenge of reducing air pollution in the city.


Cost for 1 school (15 children – 3 ideas in 3 groups of 5)                                  

Prep & Delivery                                  10 days @ £300 per day                                £3000

Project Officer (resource support)      4.5 days @ £175 per day                               £787.50

Admin                                                  2 days @ £150                                                £300

Learning Gain Impact Report (optional)                                                                   £518

Travel to pitch event venue £10 allowance each                                                       £150

Venue hire for pitch event                                                                                          £300

Catering for pitch event                                                                                              £250

Mileage                                                                                                                       £45

Materials                                                                                                                     £30

TOTAL                                                                                                                       £5380.50


Cost would decrease slightly per additional school (minus report & venue hire as one needed for the whole programme), ie £4862 per additional school.


For example:

5 schools in total = £24,828.50

8 schools in total = £39,414.50

11 schools in total = £54000.50



We can deliver Applied Creativity Labs in 11 schools in Bradford. They would all convene at a final ‘grand’ pitch event at which the best idea from each school  would be presented to an Industry Panel to including council, university, BiB & other air pollution related industry reps ie ENGIE, Sustrans etc.


The labs will be funded by Bradford Metropolitan District Council who will pay for 5 schoolsto receive the offer (£24,828.50) and by Born in Bradford who will pay for the remaining 6 schools.


We will deliver Applied Creativity Labs (ACLs) to give young people the chance to develop their creative problem-solving skills to find new ways to reduce air pollution and then present their solutions to adults in positions of power with the ability to change things. Children and young people will receive creativity training, hear from and talk with air pollution related experts and then use their newly acquired creative thinking skills (divergent and convergent thinking) to find innovative solutions to the problem they are grappling with before developing their ideas. They will then prepare presentations to share with the Industry Panel at the final pitch event.  ACLs develop young people’s problem-solving & critical-thinking skills, presentation, literacy and oracy skills as well as their resilience, confidence, independence, teamwork & ability to innovate. They get to share their ideas, based on their own lived experiences, with adults who will be encouraged and moved to act to support them to take their ideas to the next stage of development.


IVE will evaluate the impact of the creativity labs on young people via a learning gain impact report which will  focus on measuring pupils’ levels of understanding linked to enterprise and creativity, air pollution topics and skill development before and after the programme has taken place. Questions were developed by Research Toolkit Ltd at the University of Leeds and have been used on other similar outreach and widening participation interventions designed to enhance STEM, creativity, and employability skills.                                               


The ACL process:

  • Step 1: Creative Thinking Skills and Behaviour Training, alongside input from experts on the theme of carbon emissions and air pollution, to help them develop problem-solving, resilience, innovation, teamwork, confidence and leadership skills in order to develop strategies for identifying solutions to the challenge of air pollution in Bradford.


  • Step 2: 8 hour-long sessions (one per week) in which young people identify, select, develop and refine their new, innovative ideas together in small groups. They follow a structured Synectics-based model with support from IVE and access to consult expert mentors as needed.


  • Step 3: At a half day ‘pitch’ event all children and young people present their ideas, ‘Dragon’s Den’ style, to an expert Industry Panel and their peers. The most innovative, applicable and affordable idea/s would be supported to go forward to the next stage of development/potential implementation in consultation with, and via support from, the key decision-making bodies represented by the experts and Industry Panel.