O2 offers 'Future Fund' grants to local authorities

News 25 Apr, 2012

Operator wants to help councils to improve use of IT.

O2 has launched a funding programme to help boost the effectiveness of local government ICT support schemes.

The Future Fund is part of O2’s Local Government Futures Forum, which was set up to help councils modernise their use of IT.

O2 is offering local authorities the chance to apply for three grants and will also provide consultancy services.

These include reducing cost, increasing efficiency and finding new ways to interact with citizens.

O2 is offering local authorities the chance to apply for three grants worth £50,000, £75,000 and £125,000 to boost their IT infrastructure and initiate projects.

Successful applicants will also get access to O2 consultancy time and technology to create new projects.

Applications will be judged by a panel of experts from O2 and independent parties. Councils have eight weeks to develop and deliver their ideas, before selection takes place later this year.

Ben Dowd, director of business at O2, said Future Fund should drive change within local governments.

“What is different is that the Future Fund will give a glimpse of what is possible with a bit of imagination and we will support the winning bids by providing investment in their IT infrastructure coupled with resource and expertise,” he said in a statement.

“It's up to the councils to determine how it can be applied to their citizens or community, giving local government the ability to shape their own destiny in a project they are passionate about.”