Digital Inclusion Programme

Programme aim

The aim of this programme is to increase digital inclusion support across North Yorkshire through new digital inclusion projects and offers. We want to develop a number of sustainable digital hubs across North Yorkshire and upskill volunteers and employees to become digital champions within these hubs. This programme will support the public (for example, health/primary care, Local Authority) and voluntary sector organisations to develop a digital hub, where the need is evidenced. It will enable organisations to access capital funding to purchase equipment, support with infrastructure, revenue funding for start-up costs and volunteer co-ordination and access to training to upskill volunteers, or existing staff, to be digital champions.

The digital champions will then support people to access digital services alongside other relevant information, advice and services with the overall aim of improving well-being and reducing health inequalities.

Existing digital inclusion projects may apply but will need to demonstrate (as with new projects) the increase in capacity in terms of the number of digital champions and training completed.  

All successful grant applicants will have free access to a range of digital inclusion and related courses and accredited training being delivered throughout 2024/2025.  

All successful grant applicants must agree to their digital champions completing a number of mandatory core digital inclusion training courses during 2024/2025.

Applications will be prioritised for the following reasons:

  • contribution to meeting the core outputs and outcomes of the programme (further information below)
  • the contribution the digital inclusion support will make to tackling inequalities
  • evidence based local need
  • long-term sustainability of the project
  • contribution to ensuring equity of access to digital inclusion support
  • alignment with North Yorkshire’s local investment priorities and government’s levelling up agenda
  • deliverability within the timeframe of the programme (end March 2025)
  • value for money

There are three elements of support available:

1. Capital grants

Capital grants are available for between £1,000-£20,000 to support the development of digital inclusion provision through minor building adaptations and related digital equipment.  Applicants will be expected to take a best value approach to the proposed procurement of any equipment.

Eligible expenditure includes:

  • IT equipment required for training delivery, for example, laptops/tablets
  • specialist equipment to support access for people with disabilities
  • installation for broadband (but not contract fees)
  • building adaption, for example, privacy screening
  • equipment to support related training
  • promotional equipment and resources

Ineligible expenditure includes:

  • external training costs as this is provided and funded separately and provided for free through UKSPF
  • revenue/staffing costs (with the exception of development grants, see section 3)
  • ongoing contract fees, for example, broadband
  • volunteer expenses
  • maintenance of buildings

2. Training for digital champions

Organisations can access a range of courses, training, and qualifications to support the development of digital champions including:

  • digital essentials
  • train the trainer
  • soft skills training (for example, coaching skills)
  • bespoke training (upon request)

Some digital inclusion champion core skills training provided will be mandatory for digital champions.

Legacy/ongoing training will enable the digital champion to keep their skills up to date beyond the lifetime of this project. Guidance and access to ongoing post-set-up legacy digital inclusion training will be provided to ensure projects are long-term sustainable.

Digital essentials training will equip the digital champion with everything they will need to enable them to support someone to confidently take their first steps online.

Wrap around training will be available to equip the digital champion with other vital skills needed to support someone including coaching, IAG (Information Advice and Guidance) safeguarding and mental health first aid.

Bespoke training will equip the digital champion with the ability to adapt to individual needs as they are presented, for example, the use of adaptive equipment.

The training element has been funded from UK Shared Prosperity training and skills funding. It is not being delivered through a separate grant process but will be available at no cost to all successful applicants.

The training will be modular to allow organisations to select the elements that are most appropriate for them. There will be an option for digital champions to complete a fully accredited version at their own discretion.

The Digital Inclusion Co-ordinator will liaise with all successful applicants to ensure they have access to the appropriate training they have identified.

3. Development grants

Limited revenue funding is available for VCSE sector organisations to invest in the set-up costs of the digital hub.  This can include delivering and establishing localised training and/or establishing a sustainable volunteer digital champion model. This funding is only available for the development of the project to enable a long-term infrastructure that will provide the skills and framework to deliver the project following the completion of the investment. Longer-term revenue cost development will not be supported.  

This fund will enable organisations to develop the capacity to recruit and deliver training to their communities by providing the resources needed to attract future volunteers and by upskilling current volunteers and staff to be able to train them effectively. Localised training must draw on the resources and training framework being made available for free through UKSPF.  

Applications must clearly outline the need within the organisation for this funding and include a sustainability plan post-April 2025.  

Eligible expenditure includes:

  • localised training of future digital champions including facilitation of training the trainer and/or adoption of provided training resources
  • broadband and data costs where there is a clear long-term sustainable plan in place
  • staffing capacity to project manage the hub development
  • event and expenses related to the development of hubs, for example, engagement events
  • set up promotional and marketing assets/materials

Ineligible expenditure includes:

  • staffing costs for any other purpose than outlined above
  • general expenditure of the organisation
  • any costs that do not relate to the development of digital hubs

All outputs and outcomes must be achieved and the funding spent by 31 March 2025.


Applications will be appraised, and a decision made by a panel that includes representatives from the UK Shared Prosperity team, North Yorkshire Council Communities and Technology teams and Community First Yorkshire.

Training element

Applicants can indicate likely potential training needs for their organisation/Champions at the application stage and the UKSPF Programme Digital Co-ordinator will liaise with organisations to arrange access to the necessary training elements. The Digital Co-Ordinator will also consider requests for any bespoke training organisations may require.

Capital funding and development grants

Capital funding and development grants can be paid upfront, but all organisations will be required to provide evidence of spending, in line with their approved application and funding agreement.


Milestone Date
Application process opens Week commencing 29 April 2024
Deadline for applications 31 May 2024
Grant panel proposed date Week commencing 17 June 2024
Decision dates to the applicants 24 to 28 June 2024


Each organisation will need to outline the outputs and outcomes they will achieve through their project in their application. Organisations will be monitored on a quarterly basis against these outputs and outcomes.

All outputs and outcomes must be achieved by 31 March 2025. Final monitoring reports will be submitted by 11 April 2025.

Each organisation will need to provide the following monitoring data:

  • number of digital champions trained
  • number of people supported to access basic skills
  • number of people supported to engage in life skills
Output Definition Evidence needed
Number of digital champions trained Number of people (individuals) who have received the mandatory training provided through this programme. Checklist of training completed/a copy of a certificate where applicable/an enrolment email from the training provider.
Number of people (individuals) supported by digital champions Support to access basic skills. This can include digital skills and other basic skills such as maths, ESOL, English etc. A basic checklist completed by the organisation or digital champion to confirm conversations/signposting as appropriate and based on needs of the participant including any further training gained by the participant.
Number of people (individuals) supported by digital champions Support to access life skills. This can include access to other services and support (particularly those which reduce social isolation). A basic checklist completed by the organisation or digital champion to confirm conversations/signposting as appropriate and based on needs of the participant including any further training/support gained by the participant. Levels of increased confidence/resilience in participants are also to be recorded.

How to apply

Please apply through the following application form

 Digital hub development support package application form (docx / 132 KB)
 Digital hub development support package application form (pdf / 261 KB)

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