Local authorities have submitted 389 expressions of interest for shares of the £7.5 million Local Digital Fund.
The Local Digital Collaboration Unit in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said the proposals have come from 171 organisations, with almost 45% of English local authorities taking part.
The figures indicate a healthy response to its plan to make up to £100,000 available for individual projects using digital technology to support local services and which could be rolled out more widely.
It is the first significant investment of central government funds in supporting local digital government projects since the unit was established during the summer, and follows a period of more than two years in which there has been no Whitehall support in the field.
The Local Digital team plans to publish all of the proposals on its website, tagged and categorised by service type.
Today it is notifying the cohorts it is inviting to submit a full application, and later this week responding to every applicant with any more detailed feedback on what is needed to meet the criteria. It has set a deadline of 15 November to receive full applications.
Writing in a blogpost, head of the unit Linda O’Halloran says: “Within a year, we believe that this open approach will be delivering great benefits to the public and private sectors alike, and we’ll be investing a lot in tracking and communicating these benefits. In short, by reinforcing open working, we’ll learn more, achieve more, and make people’s lives better together.”
Image by Payam Moein, CC BY-SA 4.0 through Wikimedia