About us

This website is run by the Local Digital Collaboration Unit at the UK Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Our mission is to support a national ‘Local Digital’ movement that brings together everyone required to make local public services excellent for users and taxpayers.

We are doing this in 3 ways:

  1. Co-publishing the Local Digital Declaration with our partners. This is a shared ambition for the future of local public services, written by a collective of local authorities, sector bodies and government departments. It outlines our shared goals and commitments, and it invites all organisations working to improve local services to join in by signing up. Over a third of English principle local authorities have already signed it since it launch in July 2018.
  2. Providing a support function through the Collaboration Unit at MHCLG. This Unit’s goal is to help the local public sector achieve the aspiration set out in the Local Digital Declaration.
  3. Launching an innovation fund of £7.5 million for councils to bid for. This is being used by councils to develop common solutions to common shared challenges, and to build capacity in the sector to implement the Local Digital Declaration.

Collaboration Unit roadmap

January 2018

Movement gains momentum

MHCLG and GDS begin consultation workshops with councils, sector bodies, departments and some suppliers to agree how best to support council digital transformation. They agree to write a shared Local Digital Declaration and set up a new delivery team in MHCLG to support the Declaration mission.

May 2018

MHCLG establishes Collaboration Unit

The first staff join MHCLG to form a collaboration support fuction to help finalise and promote the Local Digital Decaration, and figure out what central government support is required to implement. They host their first bi-annual roadshows in 5 UK cities to inform their work plan.

July 2018

Declaration launches and £7.5m invested

MHCLG announces £7.5 million in funding to kick-start the Local Digital movement, while 45 organisations – including MHCLG, GDS, LGA, Socitm, Solace, Cipfa, DCMS, CCS and over 20 local authorities – launch the Local Digital Declaration, proposing it as a common aspiration for the future of local services in the internet age.

August 2018

Declaration sign-up opened

Organisations are now able to sign-up to the Local Digital Declaration. Sign-up includes making a commitment that fits with the principles of the Declaration.

Event sharing service launched

We opened a web page to share and find digital-related local government events in a central hub.  

September 2018

Local Digital Team at LocalGovCamp

The Local Digital Team shared plans for opening applications for the £7.5 million fund at the LocalGovCamp unconference in Birmingham. 

Expression of interest opened for funding
24 September – 5 October

Public sector organisations were able to submit an expression of interest in working on a collaborative project to be funded as part of the Local Digital Fund.   

Expression of interest evaluation
6 – 12 October

The Local Digital Team evaluated the expression of interests.

October - November 2018

Local Digital Fund applications stage
16 October – 15 November

Local authorities that had their expressions of interest approved were able to apply for funding. This stage is now closed.

December 2018

Funding decision announcement

The successful applicants will be informed by 3 December.

There will be a kick-off workshop in London on 13 December.

Early 2019

Project development

Successful applicants will collaborate to develop their projects. There are different deadlines for discovery and alpha projects.

Discovery projects: outputs delivered April 2019
Alpha projects: outputs delivered May 2019

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