Local Digital Fund – exemplar projects

We’ll fund exemplar projects that aspire to solve common local service problems in a common way, in keeping with the principles of the Local Digital Declaration

Bids will need to:

  • demonstrate the benefit to local public services, helping local authorities to make savings and deliver better outcomes for people in their communities
  • be scalable by design, developed by 2 or more local authorities to meet the needs of many organisations
  • aim to deliver products that help others use or build on their work. These could include standardised user research findings, service design patterns, benefits cases, code repositories, etc.
  • demonstrate how they meet the principles outlined in the declaration
  • commit to making all tools and outputs from the project completely open and freely available for any organisation to reuse

Types of projects we’ll fund

Applicants will be invited to bid for funding to develop one of two types of project; discovery and alpha.

The first round of the funding will only consider applications for discovery and alpha funding. We will consider funding later phases of work in the next call for applications in 2019.

All submitted applications and project outputs will be published on this website.

Who can apply?

Any interested council, combined/unitary authority, or central government department can submit an expression of interest. If you haven’t already identified partners to work with, don’t worry – we can look to match you up with other councils when we evaluate the submissions.  

At the application stage, councils that have been successful at the expression of interest stage will need to identify a lead authority. This lead authority must be one of the following:

    • county council
    • district council
    • unitary authority
    • metropolitan borough
    • London borough council
    • parish councils
    • the Common Council of the City of London
    • combined authority
  • Greater London Authority
  • central government department

All bids will need to demonstrate input from at least 2 local authorities.

While lead applicants must be English, partnering applicants can be from elsewhere in the UK.

The bidding is not open to non-public sector organisations. However, there are no restrictions on winning bids to commission a private company to help deliver the project.

How to apply

This Expression of interest phase has now closed, and we have invited successful applicants to submit a full application on. Applications for this first round of funding are due by 4pm on 15 November 2018.

Guidance for submitting full application form


24 September - 5 October

Expression of interests closes

The expression of interest phase has now closed.

6-12 October

Expression of interest evaluation

The Local Digital Team will evaluate the expressions of interest and cluster applications where similar projects are proposed to help local authorities collaboratively solve common issues.

Sign the Declaration

If you haven’t already signed up to the Local Digital Declaration, you will need to do this before submitting an application.

Sign the Declaration

16 October - 15 November

Applications open

Applications for this round of funding are closed.

3 December 2018

Decision announcement

The successful applicants will be announced by 3 December.

December - March/April

Project development

Discovery projects – Outputs delivered March 2019
Alpha projects – Outputs delivered April 2019