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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Our history

IPPR was the brainchild of Clive Hollick, who developed the idea for an independent progressive think tank in 1986. With John Eatwell, Lord Hollick spent two years establishing the institute, which was publicly launched in 1988.

Tessa Blackstone was our first chair and the late James Cornford our first director. One of our first reports recommended congestion charging for London and we have been having real impact on policy at a national and local level ever since.

In the early 1990s, we published the highly influential report of the Commission on Social Justice, chaired by Sir Gordon Borrie and our then deputy director, Patricia Hewitt. It laid out an ambitious agenda of social policy reform that had a lasting impact on public policy debates.

During the late 1990s and early 2000s, we led thinking on devolution, elected mayors, family-friendly working, asset-based welfare, and public service reform. IPPR North was established in 2004, with an office opening in Newcastle; a second office was opened in Manchester in 2012.

We won the prestigious Prospect Think Tank of the Year award in 2001 and in 2007 became the first repeat winner.

In the late 2000s, we published the influential Commission on National Security for the 21st Century, chaired by Paddy Ashdown and George Robertson.

In 2009, we won the Green Think Tank of the year award for our groundbreaking work on climate change; in 2014, we won the Social Policy Think Tank of the Year award in recognition of the wide influence achieved by our landmark report, The Condition of Britain; and in 2015, we won the Energy and Climate Change Think Tank of the Year award.

Later in the year, in the wake of Scotland’s 2014 independence referendum and the transfer of new powers to the Scottish parliament, we formed IPPR Scotland, our new dedicated think tank for Scotland, based in Edinburgh.