Guidance on submitting a Local Digital Fund application

Please note that this guidance relates to past funding rounds and may be updated for future rounds.

The guidance on this page will help you to:

  • find the right collaborators to make a great application, one that promises to produce
  • something other local authorities can easily reuse
  • work out how to approach your collaborative proposal
  • make an application that meets the assessment criteria

 

1. Find the right collaborators

There are two places where you can find, discuss and share proposed Local Digital Fund projects: LocalGov Digital Pipeline and LocalGov Digital Slack.

It’s unlikely that we’ll fund more than 1 bid in a service area, so we strongly encourage you to work together with those in your interest group to agree to a single proposal that you could collaborate on. If it’s clear that there is more than a single high value problem worth solving between you, we may consider 2 applications.

Use Pipeline to share your idea

Pipeline is designed to give local government digital projects wider visibility. It can be used to follow Local Digital Fund projects by:

  • using the ‘localdigitalfund‘ tag to search for a list potential projects
  • registering on Pipeline to ‘watch’ projects that you are interested in
  • contacting the owner of the project on Pipeline via email to discuss the possibility of collaborating

If you list your own project on Pipeline, add the ‘localdigitalfund’ tag to your project to help others find it.

If you have listed your project on Pipeline and have not been able to attract potential partners, you can email fund@localdigital.gov.uk for further support on promoting your project.

Use Slack to meet potential collaborators

The LocalGov Digital Slack workspace is a good place to have conversations and discuss ideas with the local digital community. Conversations are grouped by channel and we have set up the #mhclg-fund channel for applicants to talk about the Local Digital Fund.

To access the #mhclg-fund Slack channel, follow these steps:

  1. Become a member of LocalGov Digital
  2. Request access to the Slack workspace when registering.
  3. Create your Slack account using the link in the invitation email to the LocalGov Digital Slack workspace.
  4. Join the #mhclg-fund channel.

Refer to this guide on how to join channels in Slack.
 

2. Work out how to approach the application together

There are many ways to collaborate, but for those who have not done something like this before, we’ve made this step-by-step list and some template Google Docs for you to use as a starting point:

a) Set up a 1 hour kick-off call

We recommend that you organise a call to agree how to collaborate or submit complementary bids. Our template meeting agenda includes guidance on setting up a Google hangout and sample questions. You can also copy the document to use as a shared place to jot down notes from the meeting.

We recommend Doodle to find common dates for meetings. It’s a free online calendar survey tool that’s really easy to use.

b) Prepare your application in a Google Doc

While you can save and return to the application form link that was sent to those invited to submit a full application, we recommend that you prepare your submission in a shared document. This way, members of all the collaborating organisations can contribute before the lead applicant pastes your final proposal into the application form.

We have created a template application in Google Docs that you can copy and share with your team to prepare for the full application:

 

3. Complete the application form

Before completing the online application form, make sure that your proposal and collaborating organisations meet the application criteria.

How we’ll assess your application

Keep the assessment criteria, and the weighting of each criteria, in mind when answering each question on the application form.

Get inspiration from example applications

These are some examples of full applications that you can refer to:

Tip: make it clear how your outputs can be reused

Remember that the Local Digital Fund aims to support the kind of work that your authority would not otherwise do. If you’re building a tool that will help your organisation to save money or improve services, you need to be clear that you’re using the funding to do that in such a way that other organisations – who may be using different technical infrastructure – can reuse it.
 

4. Submit your application

When you are ready, visit the Apply to the Local Digital Fund page to submit your application online.

Questions about applying

If you have a question about making an application to the Local Digital Fund, first check the previously answered questions page. If your question isn’t answered there, contact the Local Digital team by emailing fund@localdigital.gov.uk.