A new national call was released on Thursday 3rd September to help existing European Social Funded (ESF) projects address the digital divide, by enabling them to provide digital kit and data dongles to their participants.
This is 100% ‘Lump Sum’ based funding for existing ESF projects to deliver additional bolt-on activity.
About the funding
£5 million in ESF ‘Lump Sum Digital Interventions’ funding is now available to help address the digital divide in response to Coronavirus. This funding call aims to address two of the main ‘access’ issues associated with digital exclusion.
The first is that of having physical access to the internet, i.e. a device that will allow the user to access the internet. The second is the issue of data poverty.
Applications are invited from organisations to deliver short-term activity to existing ESF participants as a “bolt-on” to the ESF support they are currently receiving. The short-term activity will consist of projects procuring and loaning an appropriate device (e.g. tablet, laptop) and providing a three-month allowance of data, provided via a data dongle, to existing ESF participants. Activity will also include a small amount of set up support to enable users to understand functionality and get online.
Projects can be funded at 100% ESF through this Call. No upper or lower financial limit will be applied to project applications made against this Call. This will enable smaller, locally based organisations to apply for funding and also provides scope for larger organisations to apply to deliver larger scale projects where they have identified sufficient demand for provision.
Applications are invited to deliver the activity across England, excluding London. The Greater London Authority (GLA) is launching a separate Call seeking applications to deliver activity specifically for the London area.
All activity to enable participants to receive the equipment, any initial set up support, and defrayal of all expenditure must be completed by 31 December 2020.
For more information, download the Call Specification
How to Apply
To apply for funding under this call you will need to complete and submit your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT System. If you do not already have access to the ECLAIMS IT system, you can request an ‘ECLAIMS External Access Form’ by emailing E.CLAIMSSUPPORT@dwp.gov.uk
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 30th Septmeber, but bids will be appraised as soon as they arrive – so apply as soon as you can.
Supporting the Third Sector through COVID-19
A series of documents and updates regarding the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Programme and the response to COVID-19 can be accessed here.
As ever, our dedicated CSI Representatives are here to understand and unpack the issues that the third sector is facing within the current ESIF programme which are affecting their ability to use European funds effectively.
So that we can raise these issues at government level on your behalf and pro-actively work for solutions, we’re asking Third Sector organisations to tell us their experiences using these funds, in light of the outbreak of COVID-19. Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org