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MHCLG opens Local Digital Fund round four

30/01/20

Mark Say Managing Editor

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has opened round four of the Local Digital Fund.

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Its Local Digital Collaboration Unit said that the round will be confined to providing further support for projects that received backing under rounds two and three. This is aimed at maintaining their momentum.

“We’ve learned from previous rounds that momentum is a huge factor in maintaining both senior stakeholder buy-in and collaborative working,” the unit said in its announcement.

This follows the approach under which a group of projects from the first round were provided with a second tranche of funding last year.

The size of the fund for the next financial year has not yet been confirmed. The previous round provided £524,000 spread across seven projects.

Breadth of support

The unit said that so far the Local Digital Fund – set up in 2018 to help councils develop collaborative projects that address common challenges and to support digital skills training – has supported 23 teams across 100 councils.

In response to the question of when funding will be available for new projects, the unit said: “A key part of the Local Digital Declaration is to break our dependence on inflexible and expensive technology that doesn’t join up effectively.

“We are thinking of how we can focus our fund in different ways to ensure we tackle a whole service, which will help us move away from inflexible technology. We'll be sharing how we could do that in the coming weeks.”

Image by Mike Lawrence, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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