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Unit Cost Database

A detailed database of unit costs (savings) across a number of themes, for use in policy costing exercises including cost-benefit analysis.

New Economy (Greater Manchester) have built and maintained this database (which will be updated on an ongoing basis) to help project managers develop policy proposals involving public services.

NICVA recommends the database for use in performing policy costing calculations, explained in more detail in the Costing Toolkit.

The database contains costs across the following themes: crime; education and skills; employment and economy; fire; health; housing; and social services.  The data have been subject to a rigorous validation process, including assessing the robustness of the original source documentation, considering how data have been derived from constituent cost elements, comparing costs to related data, and exploring the availability of more recent/robust sources.  The data has also been reviewed by analysts from the relevant Whitehall departments.

The initial version of this cost database was developed as part of work under the Investment Agreement and Partnerships Exemplar project to produce a framework to assist local partners in reforming the way they deliver public services.  The project was funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) Troubled Families Unit, and delivered by Greater Manchester and Birmingham City Council.  Work to develop and update the database is being undertaken by New Economy (Greater Manchester), with further support from DCLG and other government departments.

Updated March 2015.  Changes from v.1.3 include the addition of new columns for economic and social values where applicable (see 'Guidance' tab for definitions) and updates to a number of unit costs where the source documentation has been updated since the previous version in March 2014.  For more detail on the updates that have been applied, see the 'v1.4 update log' worksheet, and columns T and U in the individual thematic worksheets.

Instructions on how to navigate the database are given in the 'Guidance' worksheet.  Further detailed guidance is available on the New Economy website at

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit

Data and Resources

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
New Economy (Greater Manchester)
Modified Date
Release Date
Open Definition
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area (WKT)
POLYGON ((-8.26172 61.228, 3.07617 61.228, 3.07617 49.6676, -8.26172 49.6676, -8.26172 61.228))
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
United Kingdom
Data Dictionary
See Excel file for explanation
Contact Name
Cost Benefit Analysis at New Economy
Contact Email