The Local Digital Fund Opens New Round

Funding available for local authorities in England to support digital innovation projects that will transform public services.

Launched in September 2018, the 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 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.

This programme of funding aims to:

  • Help councils maximise efficiency savings by solving problems collectively rather than many times
  • Fund work that benefits the collective, rather than work that individual councils would do anyway as part of their local efficiencies programme.

Local authorities are invited to submit proposals for digital projects from two thematic areas:

  • Theme 1: modern user-friendly development platforms that enable councils to design and build different types of front facing services. This may include low code platforms, open source technology, or similar solutions aimed at end to end service transformation.
  • Theme 2: an open theme to tackle inflexible and expensive software in councils, develop new software solutions or services, and/or help reduce their cyber vulnerability. This may include utilising new digital services to address problems posed by inflexible or out of support software.

Local authorities in England are eligible to submit expressions of interest, whether individually or in partnership with other local authorities.

Local authorities will be invited to apply for funding to develop projects in alpha or beta stages of development:

  • Alpha stage – funding of up to £150,000 is available
  • Beta stage – funding of up to £350,000 is available.

The Local Digital Fund will be hosting a live Slack Q&A for local authorities on Monday 13 September. Those who are not already a member of LocalGov Digital Slack, you will need to sign up first. Please note, this Slack group is open to local authorities only.

Applications to Round 5 must be submitted by the 26 September 2021 (11:59pm).

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)