Launched in September 2018, the £7.5 million Local Digital Fund aims to help change the way councils use technology to design and deliver public services, share expertise and ensure the public get services focused relentlessly around their needs. The Fund will support councils to solve their common problems more effectively, develop their digital capacity and design and deliver high quality services.
Round three of the fund has opened to applications today (19 August). Grants of up to £350,000 are available.
Minister for Local Government, Luke Hall MP, said:
"Councils are on the front line of exploring how we can harness technology to improve services while saving taxpayers’ money.
"Today we’re opening up the next round of applications for the Local Digital Fund. I would encourage all councils with innovative ideas that focus on residents’ needs to apply."
Last year, sixteen projects were awarded grants of up to £100,000, with 57 councils working in teams to shape new digital services and explore the potential of modern technology.
Successful projects included:
- exploring how virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa can improve the lives of people in need of care
- improving online tools for reporting social home repairs
- using data analytics and artificial intelligence to produce education plans for children with special needs.
Local authorities and central government departments in England are eligible to submit expressions of interest, whether individually or in partnership with other local authorities. All bids will need to demonstrate input from at least two local authorities. While lead applicants must be from England, partnering applicants can be from elsewhere in the UK.
Round Three is now open to applications. The deadline for submissions is 19 September 2019.
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