N8 AgriFood is a unique programme working across the entire food system, combining expertise from the 8 most research intensive universities in the North of England: Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.

The aim of the programme is to harness the collective expertise of the 8 institutions to tackle the challenge of food security regionally, nationally and internationally. We collaborate with external stakeholders from across the sector including industry, government, SME’s NGO’s and charities to confront the breadth of the food security challenge through our 3 research themes:

A key initiative under the N8 Research Partnership, the programme began in 2015 with £8m funding support from the  Higher Education Funding Council for England and a further £1m from each N8 University. These funds have supported a wealth of collaborative activity across the agri-food sector. There have been significant outputs for the programme including attracting a total of £27m of external funding for agri-food projects. We have funded over 150 Pump Priming projects and held a multitude of networking and learning events across the universities. 

Underpinning all our activities is the desire to influence change and generate impact. To achieve this we draw upon the multiple disciplines and skills across the N8 universities, which provides the interdisciplinary competence required for such a complex challenge and the ability for greater socio-economic impact, than if the universities worked alone. Our cohesive programme aims to create sustainable and influential partnerships across the global agrifood community. This collective approach enables us to influence change in agrifood and environmental policy and practice both in the UK and globally, leading to a more sustainable food system, improving food security and sustaining natural resources.