Last summer the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government launched the Local Digital Declaration which provides a collective ambition for local public services in the internet age, as well as a driver for improved collaboration. Following the launch of the Declaration the Local Digital Fund was also announced, which aims to help local authorities implement the Local Digital Declaration by funding digital skills training and projects that address common local service challenges in common, reusable ways. The Fund will invest up to £7.5 million during financial years 2018/19 and 2019/20 and fosters cross boundary collaboration as a criterion of application is councils working together.
Sixteen projects were awarded grants of up to £100,000 in the first round of funding last year. You can view the sixteen funded projects and progress here.
Today the next round of applications for the Local Digital Fund opened. Projects bidding for the Fund must be shared by councils working together to explore how digital technology can improve public services for residents in innovative ways.
Minister for Local Government, Luke Hall MP, said:
“Digital technology is transforming our lives. From smart tech at home to apps on our phones, it’s helping us to stay connected and making things easier.
“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.”
techUK’s Head of Local Public Services, Georgina Maratheftis commented:
“It was great to see fifty seven councils working together as a result of the first round of the Local Digital Fund to shape new digital services and explore the opportunities technology can bring in transforming outcomes. I’m excited to see what come out of the second round as technology can help solve some of the most pressing challenges our communities face.”
“It’s good to see how the fund is helping drove collaboration across public sector boundaries and we encourage market engagement as part of the process to ensure councils get to access the breadth and depth of innovation out there.”