Aims: The evaluation aimed to assess the impact of The Alcohol Improvement Programme (AIP). This was a UK Department of Health initiative (April 2008–March 2011) aiming to contribute to the reduction of alcohol-related harm as measured by a reduction in the rate of increase in alcohol-related hospital admissions (ARHAs). Methods: The evaluation (March 2010–September 2011) used a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the impact of the AIP on ARHAs, to describe and assess the process of implementation, and to identify elements of the programme which might serve as a ‘legacy’ for the future. (etc. the part changed is highlighted) Results: There was no evidence that the AIP had an impact on reducing the rise in the rate of ARHAs. The AIP was successfully delivered, increased the priority given to alcohol-related harm on local policy agendas and strengthened the infrastructure for the delivery of interventions. Conclusion: Although there was no measurable short-term impact on the rise in the rate of ARHAs, the AIP helped to set up a strategic response and a delivery infrastructure as a first, necessary step in working towards that goal. There are anumber of valuable elements in the AIP which should be retained and repackaged to fit into new policy contexts.