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. As this is the sixth round, what has happened so far and what is yet to be announced?
The DLUHC is preparing to delegate £2.5 million of funding through the 6th round of the Local Digital Fund. In an attempt to make services safer, more resilient and more cost-effective, digital platforms may be in the alpha, beta or discovery phase.
Digital solutions can range from complex systems, large-scale infrastructure, or more niche focussed solutions for more minor services or issues. In order to engage with the supply chain, the DLUHC will be hosting a webinar on 19 October 2022 and will publish a fund prospectus with complete assessment criteria.
Applications will be open from 19 October until 24 November 2022. Following on, they’ll conduct an interview process in early December, with winners announced in early 2023.
Creating services that meet user needs and making services safer
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. Many 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 in 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 would involve collaboration between councils and “have a reasonably clear route to scaling solutions”, with a strategic benefit to the whole sector.
In the 5th round of the funding, £2.37m was awarded to eight projects to improve the digitalisation of the sector.