About the Local Digital Fund
The Local Digital Fund aims to help local authorities implement the Local Digital Declaration by funding digital skills training and projects that address common local service challenges in common, reusable ways.
The Fund was introduced in July 2018 by the then UK Local Government Minister, Rishi Sunak, of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Since then, DLUHC has awarded over £16 million of funding to 61 council-led projects.
How the Local Digital Fund supports local government
1. Collaborative projects
All signatories of the Local Digital Declaration are invited to apply for funding to support collaborative digital projects. In addition to funding, successful projects receive dedicated support from the DLUHC Local Digital team.
Applications for our most recent round, Round 6, are now closed. You can learn about the projects that have received funding through this round and previous rounds below. Each project has its own webpage where you can follow their progress, or you can browse all funded projects.
Outputs from successful completed projects are also made available on our website for other local authorities to reuse and adopt.
2. Digital skills training
To support councils to deliver the digital projects that we fund, we are committed to meeting the need for digital leadership and agile project delivery training.
We have invited Round 6 projects to put forward relevant team members for the Digital and Agile for Local Government training course. This course is designed to equip local government officers with a deeper understanding of agile and digital and how to use them effectively in digital delivery. We plan to use the feedback from this course to determine what training we offer in future.
You can find more information on our Training page or browse our library of training courses to develop your digital and cyber skills online.
How we’re measuring the impact of the Local Digital Fund
We have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Local Digital Fund to understand its impact and how we can improve and iterate it over time.
To do this, we are measuring councils’ digital standing before the programme, and seeing how that develops over time. In particular, we’ll be measuring the impacts of Local Digital Fund projects in terms of outcomes for residents, council employees and the wider sector.
We’ll be issuing short surveys to some councils who have been funded through the Local Digital Fund, and to some who haven’t, as well as running interviews, workshops and feedback sessions to understand impact.
Learn more about the evaluation study
Past funding rounds
Round 6 (2022)
In October 2022, we invited local authorities to submit proposals for discovery, alpha and beta projects that solve a common local government issue and make local government services safer, more resilient and cheaper to run.
Round 6 projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £2,016,325 of funding to 17 council-led digital projects, which kicked off in March 2023:
- User journeys into adult social care (London Borough of Redbridge)
- Exploring Automated Health and Social Care Assessments (Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames)
- Safeguarding adults who go missing (Greater Manchester Combined Authority)
- Improving Local Authority Building Control Services (London Borough of Lambeth)
- Improving social care hospital discharges (Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council)
- Improving housing advice services to prevent homelessness (London Borough of Newham)
- Digital support for carers (London Borough of Southwark)
- Helping children out of long waits for adoption (Nottinghamshire County Council)
- Exploring barriers to online engagement with council services (South Ribble Borough Council)
- Digital surface flood warning system (Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council)
- Achieving better housing technology through common patterns and standards (Hackney London Borough Council)
- Digitising bulk waste collections (North Tyneside Council)
- Sharing planning data across council boundaries (Epping Forest District Council)
- Rapid identification of vulnerable households in an emergency or crisis (Cumbria County Council)
- Digital taxi licensing service (Rushmoor Borough Council)
- Planning an infrastructure mapping platform (Kent County Council)
- Automating HR Appointment processes (Southampton City Council)
Learn more about Round 6
Round 5 (2021)
In September 2021, we invited local authorities to submit proposals for alpha and beta projects across two thematic areas: development platforms and software.
Round 5 projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £2,329,968 of funding to 9 council-led digital projects:
Learn more about Round 5
Continuous Funding Model (2021 - present)
In February 2021 we announced the move to a more flexible model of funding local government digital projects, known as the Continuous Funding Model (CFM). The CFM is designed to help funded project teams to maintain momentum and continuity. Instead of waiting for further funding rounds to open, projects can apply for funding for their next stage of work shortly after completing the previous phase.
Learn more about the Continuous Funding Model
C-19 Challenge (2020)
In July 2020, local authorities in England were invited to apply for funding to support data and digital projects to help with their COVID-19 recovery and renewal efforts.
The C-19 Challenge projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £800,000 of funding to 11 council-led digital projects:
Learn more about the C-19 Challenge
Round 4 (2020)
In March 2020, project teams from Rounds 2 and 3 of the Fund were invited to apply for funding for their next project phase.
Round 4 projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £1,200,000 of funding to 6 council-led digital projects:
Learn more about Round 4
Round 3 (2019)
In September 2019, all councils that signed the Local Digital Declaration were invited to apply to the third round of the Local Digital Fund.
Round 3 projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £524,300 of funding to 7 projects:
Learn more about Round 3
Round 2 (2019)
In August 2019, project teams from Round 1 of the Local Digital Fund were invited to complete an application for further funding.
Round 2 projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £753,095 of funding to 6 projects:
Learn more about Round 2
Round 1 (2018)
The first round of the Local Digital Fund was launched in December 2018 by Rishi Sunak to help local authorities break their dependence on inflexible technology, adopt the best digital ways of working, and ultimately offer excellent local services for less. Local authorities and central government organisations were invited to bid for funding.
Round 1 projects
DLUHC awarded a total of £1,251,492 of funding to 16 projects:
Learn more about Round 1