The Local Digital team of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced the latest competition for funding for projects led by local authorities.
It said it is preparing to award up to £2.5 million under round six of the Local Digital Fund, for discovery, alpha or beta projects aimed at solving complex local government issues and making services safer, more resilient and cheaper to run.
These can deal with complex systems or infrastructure, a specific element of a problem or smaller services or issues.
It is planning to run a webinar on 19 October and will publish a fund prospectus with application assessment criteria and supporting information. It will begin to take applications on the same day up to 24 November, followed by interviews with applicant teams in early December and an announcement on those selected early next year.
Lawrence Hopper, deputy director for digital at DLUHC, commented: “The same things apply in helping councils to deliver the Local Digital Declaration, councils creating services that meet user needs and making services safer, more resilient, cheaper to run and breaking the dependence on expensive and flexible technology.
“This time around we can afford to be bolder. A lot of projects we’ve funded have been successful and we’re not just trying to seed fund new activity as there is a lot of good activity out there. We want to be bolder tackling the big service domains such as housing and revs and bens.
“The funding we have allows us to do so, and it’s becoming more mainstream in the sector to collaborate.”
He added that the projects to receive backing will involve collaboration between councils and “have a reasonably clear route to scaling solutions”, with a strategic benefit to the whole sector.
The most recent awards from the Local Digital Fund provided £2.37 million for eight projects that had previously received support under the programme.