Home Community and neighbourhoods Next round of digital connectivity grant funding for community groups set to launch

Next round of digital connectivity grant funding for community groups set to launch

by Guy Murphy

Round three of VOLA’s UK Share Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) Digital Connectivity for Community Facilities Grants Programme will launch on Monday 20 November.

Grants of up to £10,000 will be awarded to successful applicants in February 2024.

Over the first two funding rounds, a total of £578k has been awarded to 82 Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector organisations across the Liverpool City Region.  In this round, a further £297k is available, with specific funding allocations for each borough.

What is the grants programme

The purpose of the grants programme is to support local voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise (VCFSE) sector organisations with the creation of new, and improvement of existing community facilities where people can go to access computers and get online. This includes funding and support to:

  • Target neighbourhoods where there is currently a lack of community-based digital facilities to help local, VCFSE organisations to set up new computer drop-in facilities;
  • Upgrade outdated and poor quality digital kit and/or improve broadband connectivity in community facilities, where current equipment &/or connections can be evidenced as being poor; and
  • Increase capacity, by providing funding to purchase more digital devices, where current facilities are insufficient to meet demand.

Watch this brief film to find out more.

Briefing events

In partnership with each boroughs’ local CVS, VOLA is running a number of online briefing sessions to explain the fund’s purpose, eligibility criteria, key requirements, application process and what can/ cannot be funded.  These will take place week commencing 13 November.

  • Halton & St Helens – Wednesday 15 November, 11am–12 noon – hosted by Halton & St Helens VCA – book your place here
  • Knowsley – Wednesday 15 November, 2-3pm (hosted by One Knowsley – book your place here
  • Wirral – Thursday 16 November, 1-2pm (hosted by Wirral CVS – book your place here
  • Liverpool – Friday 17 November, 12-1pm (hosted by LCVS –book your place here
  • Sefton – no online session.  Instead, VOLA will be promoting the fund at the Funder’s Marketplace at Sefton CVS’ annual conference on 28th November and through other networks.

While each of the briefings will have a local feel, the vast majority of the content will be the same, so people are invited to join whichever session is most convenient.  You will receive the Zoom link when you’ve booked on.

An additional, extremely useful online briefing will be held on 20 November, 2-3pm, focusing on technical considerations when developing-public access computer facilities, with plenty of helpful hints and tips on what you need to do, things you will need to purchase, etc.

To book your place, email andrew.coulson@volamerseyside.org.uk and you will be sent a link.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, it is strongly recommended that you attend both sessions.  Each will take no more than 1 hour.

For further information on the fund, including FAQs and application guidance, please visit VOLA’s website