O2 offers 'Future Fund' grants to local authorities


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."

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.