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Digital Challenge Funds

Volume 454: debated on Monday 11 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what percentage of digital challenge funds will be received by community and third sector organisations; (105349)

(2) what percentage of digital challenge funding will be made (a) in kind from ICT companies to local authorities and (b) in money; and what the value is in each case.

The 10 winning regional bidders have each been awarded £120,000 to develop their final proposal. It is for each regional bidder to determine the extent of their digital challenge funds which are received by community and third sector organisations in the course of developing their final proposal. However, the allocation of this funding was detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding which stated:

“will ensure sufficient resources are provided to engage in meaningful community participation and activities to ensure that any final bid has the clear understanding and support of those whom it may affect.”

Part of the judging criteria for the winning digital challenge proposal will be the level of engagement and partnership role with community and third sector organisations. We will not have this information until all the bids have been evaluated post their submission date of 19 January 2006 and until the winner is determined in spring 2007.

Government are committing £3 million to the final winning digital challenge proposal (in addition to the programme costs, the development of the on and off -line Digital Inclusion Network and the £1.2 million for the winning 10 regional proposals). The bidders are also expected to attract up to £4 million of match funding from industry. The digital challenge team are currently working with industry to determine the exact amount of cash and kind.