Bradford Council is set to receive £31.5 million to promote healthy living and prevent illness.

The two-year ring-fenced budget for public health is the district’s share of a national budget of £5.45 billion over two years announced yesterday by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

For the first time, from April, 2013, public health budgets will be protected, with local authorities taking the lead for improving the health of their local communities.

The money must be spent by the local authority to improve health and wellbeing by tackling the wider determinants of poor health.

Councillor David Green, Bradford Council leader, said: “We welcome this funding that we will receive to tackle public health issues in Bradford and the district and improve the lives of our residents. We will be looking at the full details of this funding with our partners and will agree priorities for public health spending, taking into account the views of local people and organisations.”

The way budgets have been decided marks a new way of funding public health services. Building on advice from an independent expert group - the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) – funding will be specifically targeted at those areas with the worst health outcomes. This means that the areas with the greatest needs will receive more money.

Every local authority will receive a real terms increase in funding, the Government said, and by providing a two-year budget it said it aims to give local authorities a clearer long-term understanding of their future funding as they prepare to take on their new responsibilities from primary care trusts which are being abolished.