19.08.19

Councils invited to apply for Local Digital Fund

Councils are now open to apply for the next round of digital funding to improve public services, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced.

Utilising the Local Digital Fund, councils can look to secure funding from today (19 August) for projects which seek to boost the quality and/or frequency of public services offered through innovative uses of digital technology.

The announcement was made by local government minister Luke Hall MP.

Grants of up to £350,000 will be invested into projects from the Fund.

Councils looking to bid for the money will be expected to work together to explore how digital technology can improve public services for residents in new and innovative ways.

Ideas could range from making people’s lives easier with more efficient, online ways to pay for services or get help, to embracing tech to support vulnerable people or making bin collections, social housing repairs and taxi licensing services more efficient.

READ MORE: Councils receive share of £560,000 fund for digital schemes to improve local services

READ MORE: Local digital funding goes to Newcastle and Buckinghamshire

Mr Hall explained: “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.”

Last year, sixteen projects were awarded grants up to £100,000, with 57 councils working in teams to shape new digital services and realise the potential of modern technology for their residents.

As part of the fund – which has an allotment of up to £7.5m available – lead councils from across the country partner with at least two other councils to share knowledge and ideas. This collaborative approach to projects works into one of the key pillars of government’s Local Digital Declaration, which seeks to coordinate public bodies seeking digital solutions.

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