About us

Who we are: Founded in 1974, the Local Area Research & Intelligence Association (LARIA) is a UK-based membership body largely run by volunteers working in the public sector. We represent in excess of 1,000 people, and around 100 organisations, who improve lives and local areas through the use of research, intelligence and policy. Our work is supported by our partners and sponsors.

What we do: LARIA exists to promote continuous improvements in the quality and impact of local research and intelligence. By promoting high standards and excellence in research, analysis and insight we ensure maximum impact in the delivery of high quality public service.

How we do it and make a difference: We facilitate the sharing of research and intelligence best practice and create networking opportunities for our members. LARIA members play an active role across the research and intelligence sector.


It has achieved the following in the last few years:

  • Active Knowledge Hub and Linkedin bulletin board discussions
  • Developing networking links for members with Health Statistics User Group, Public Health England, INLOGOV, Improvement Service, National Records of Scotland, COSLA, MRS, Society of Local Authorities Chief Executives (SOLACE), Social Research Association, Royal Statistical Society, ONS and LGA
  • Establishing a set of National Occupational Standards to promote CPD for local researchers
  • Increased membership numbers and income
  • Launch of the LARIA Research Impact Awards
  • Launch of the LARIA Charter for full members
  • Launch of the LARIA Partnership Programme
  • Launch of the new LARIA website
  • Merging with the British Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (BURISA)
  • Merging with the Social Services Research Group (SSRG)
  • Number of free local networking events
  • Responding to government consultations on behalf of local researchers including on the future of the Census
  • Successful LARIA Annual National and Scottish Conferences now accredited by the Market Research Society (MRS) as part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme
  • Supported publications from the Alliance for Useful Evidence, Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Local Government Association (LGA)
LARIA is largely a voluntary organisation with no permanent office or officers. We rely on the time and goodwill of members. We were established in 1974 and are a Specially Authorised Society under the Friendly Societies Act 1974. Full Members sign up to the LARIA Charter and our objectives are set out in our Rules of Association as summarised below:
  1. To encourage communication between those involved in Research and Intelligence in Local Government and other local public services and, in particular, to aid the sharing of technical knowledge and research methods.
  2. To promote a wider understanding in Local Government and other local public services of the Research and Intelligence function and its application and to foster its further development.
  3. To improve research and intelligence practice in Local Government and other local public services.
  4. To provide a Research, Intelligence and information management viewpoint to national and international fora.
  5. To represent the interests of Research and Intelligence practitioners with the local authority organisations, other local public services, government departments and other research agencies on issues of mutual concern and interest.
  6. To promote activities which further the aims and enlarge the membership of LARIA including without limitation conferences, seminars and events, publications, the LARIA website, social media and all forms of publicity either independently or in conjunction with others, and in particular the circulation of a regular news sheet reporting on and promoting the activities of LARIA to members, potential members and all interested persons and organisations.
  7. To undertake or commission research and set up working groups to investigate areas of interest.
  8. To promote information and knowledge sharing among local research and intelligence professionals through the website, social media, events and LARIA News.
  9. To encourage the continual professional development of members, which may include the LARIA Council agreeing a set of criteria to issue postnominal letters
  10. Any such other activities as are from time to time deemed to be appropriate to further the purposes of LARIA.

Our governing body is the LARIA Council. We also have a number of Activity and local groups. To see copies of the minutes of Council and AGM meetings please log-in to our member pages. You will also find there copies of our financial accounts.

Read more about our history. In 2008 we merged with ALGIS (Affiliation of Local Government Information Specialists). This had been formed in 1990 previously under the umbrella of the Institute of Information Scientists. In 2013 we formally merged with BURISA (British Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) and 2017 with SSRG (Social Services Research Group). Both associations were established in the early 1970s and pursued many shared interests and objectives.

We accept members from both public and private sector bodies. You can also join as an individual. Our membership levels and the way we work puts networking and collaborative working at the heart of what we do. Find more details about LARIA membership and benefits

Our office address is LARIA, Tower House, Mill Lane, Off Askham Fields Lane, Askham Bryan, York, YO23 3FS or you can email us at admin@laria.org.uk