DLUHC Digital Planning Innovation Fund and the opportunity for Local Planning Authorities
The government has announced the joining together of two programmes of work: the digital planning improvement fund and the proptech innovation fund. It is a fixed grant amount, ringfenced for a defined set of improvement activities:
- Identified training needs
- Delivering digital planning improvements
- Preparing for legislative changes (for example relating to the now in force Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill), and
- Improving services.
Who is it for?
Local Planning Authorities (the planning departments of Local Authorities.)
What is the vision?
The funding is designed to help create a “new, more modular, software landscape” which will:
- encourage digital innovation, and
- provide access to underlying data.
The intention is that this will “help automate routine processes” making support faster, and allow for “more certain decision-making”
What is the purpose of the funds?
It is designed to provide funding for local planning authorities that want to adopt modern planning practices by improving:
- Planning data
- Digital capabilities
- Development management software
What are the themes?
Theme 1: land assessment, viability and feasibility
Theme 2: land assessment, small sites
Theme 3: land assessment, land and site assembly
Theme 4: land assessment, wildcard
Theme 5: digital citizen engagement - visualisation
What should applicants consider?
- They should demonstrate awareness of what has already been achieved in the PropTech Innovation Fund
- Explore the Fund’s focus on leveraging existing products in the market and working with suppliers to inform tech capabilities. This is where Diagonal can support.
- Understand the importance of commitment to establishing a baseline and benchmark data to measure success
- Demonstrate, where relevant, welcoming in partners and industry allies as project enablers
DLUHC includes a number of examples of how working with collaborators might be beneficial including:
- Adopting and implementing off-the-shelf digital products. As noted above, this may include a budget for some digital enhancements and product development to evolve existing products.
- Analysis, management and integration of data sets to inform assessment/modelling.
- Enabling local authority staff time to resource each pilot, including project engagement and collaboration with PropTech Innovation Fund Round 4 partners, suppliers and DLUHC stakeholders.
- Training and capacity building across local authority teams to support longer term adoption and integration of digital tools and services.
- DLUHC’s expectation is that projects will run for a maximum of 9 to 12 months, concluding by December 2024.
NB the fund is not for:
- Speculative projects
- Tailored grant amounts
- Projects with current or prospective software providers
- Digitisation of documents
- Software licences or subscriptions
When are successful applications announced?
How much is available?
- Individual local authorities can apply for up to £85,000
- Joint local authority projects can apply for up to £225,000
Visit the DLUHC website for information on how to apply.
Start the conversation with us and find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org