Digital Society Fund

Objective and Key Outcomes:

Funding is available to support individuals and families to access digital services and support online.  The pandemic has resulted in many services in health, employment and welfare moving more to online provision which some people struggle to access because of a lack of suitable kit, knowledge and/or data.  £100,000 of funding has been made available to the three digital workstreams (economy, society and health) to fund local organisations to:

  • Reduce the number of individuals and families locally that are unable to access or benefit from digital / online services and support
  • Create a network of digital champions in community facilities where people can get help and advice on how to use / access online services
  • Promote awareness of places where people can gain access to free wi-fi.

£30,000 of seed funding has been allocated to the Digital Society workstream to help achieve these priorities.  This money must be spent by 31st March 2022.

Project Categories

Any projects must  extend digital provision at current sites and/or develop new community facilities/projects.  Furthermore, the organisation must demonstrate how their project will become sustainable beyond April 2022 or how it will be adapted so that digital support remains in place for those that need it.

The main project categories are:

  • Digital equipment – this can include purchase of equipment that will be used to enable people to access online services, either as free access within a community building, loaned equipment given to people known to be digitally excluded or ‘taster’ equipment to demonstrate to people how the kit can be used to enable them to access better utility deals, cheaper online shopping, employment and skills opportunities, access to health care etc.
  • Training and education – there are a large number of digital training courses already being delivered across NEL. To be eligible for seed funding your project needs to clearly demonstrate that the training you are providing does not duplicate this activity and that the people you are targeting are not already able to access existing training. In your claim you will need to include testimonies / case studies on individuals that show they were not accessing other training and the impact that your project as had on their digital skills.
  • Digital connectivity – this should include community focussed activity that enables people to access online services. This could include the creation of a community / neighbourhood / street free wi-fi hotspot.

Other projects will be considered if they meet the objectives above.

See attached: Guidance and proposal form.

Submission Deadline: 30th August 2021 – Midnight

Submit to: stephen.mcgrath@nelincs.gov.uk or by post to:

Stephen McGrath, Floor 2, Municipal Offices, Town Hall Square, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1HU 

Click here for the NELC article.