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Grants and Funding


Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Challenge Fund

03 June 2020/Categories: Grants_and_Funding

Fund Information

Funding body:

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Maximum value:

£ 4,750,000

Application deadline:

None specified

Objectives of Fund

The LFFN Challenge Fund will support projects that create the conditions for successful achievement of the strategic objective to stimulate more commercial investment to deliver more gigabit capable connectivity and both of the Programme's delivery objectives:

  • Directly maximising the availability and benefit of gigabit capable broadband services to public sector, business and residential users.

  • Improving commercial investment conditions, in local areas e.g. improve the business case for the market to provide more gigabit capable broadband.

Value Notes

The total value of the fund is £200 million, with £95 million remaining for Wave 3.

DCMS envisages providing funding for up to 20 Wave 3 projects to a combined value of up to £95 million - including one, or two larger multiauthority applications - at an average cost to the LFFN fund of £4.75 million.

Match Funding Restrictions

Local bodies are not required to match the LFFN capital funding. However, in DCMS' assessment they recognise that the strength and value of the Economic case is likely to increase where local bodies are able to provide additional funding from other sources.

Who Can Apply

Applications may come from any public sector body, or group of public bodies in the UK. This includes all tiers of local government and other public sector bodies, for example NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Collaborative proposals are welcomed which cover wide geographical areas that cut across local authority boundaries, for example matching a LEP footprint, or Combined Authority areas.

DCMS would also like to see applications from Public Sector Partnerships, for example those which bring together the combined buying power of local government, health and education. For multi-partner applications, one local public body should be identified as the lead for the delivery of the project, acting as the administrative body for the funding agreement on behalf of all the partner organisations. The nominated lead will be the recipient of the funding and managing the relationship with other partner organisations.

DCMS anticipates that at least one project will be funded in each of the four nations of the United Kingdom i.e. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales.




This fund will not support proposals to subsidise further roll out of superfast broadband to residential or business users.

Eligible Expenditure

The LFFN Programme will support projects which make a significant difference to the deployment of full fibre networks in the UK, using one or more of four delivery methods.

  • Public Sector Anchor Tenancy - DCMS support for the strategic procurement of fibre connectivity for multiple locations (where the public sector body is the long-term 'anchor' tenant) which creates additional fibre infrastructure in the region. This may include multiple public sector agencies. This approach may involve the separation of infrastructure provision from the delivery of services.

  • Gigabit Voucher Scheme (GbVS) - The operation of a business voucher scheme which helps businesses (or clusters of businesses) buy gigabit capable connectivity, and anticipates the operator may subsequently extend the fibre 'footprint' to surrounding premises.

  • Public Sector Building Upgrade - Direct tactical funding of connectivity using full fibre to specific public sector locations, where the costs of doing so cannot be met using existing business cases, and where the deployment of fibre extends the fibre 'footprint' to surrounding premises.

  • Public Sector Asset Reuse - Support for capital costs associated with the re-use or development of public sector infrastructure assets (for example CCTV duct networks) to increase the commercial availability of fibre networks and extend the reach of backhaul or other services.

How To Apply

Wave 3 will not require a fixed date for formal submissions. Local bodies with an interest in bidding are invited to first submit an informal expression of interest to the programme. At this stage the programme will assess their project and where appropriate help them shape their approach. A full proposal will only be required once the programme has indicated they are satisfied with the information provided about the local body's proposed approach.

Expressions of interest should be sent to [email protected] by the application deadline.

Useful documents & links

Useful Links

Addresses and contacts

For further information on how to obtain this grant locally, please contact the following:

  1. LFFN Mailbox
    Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
    100 Parliament Street
    SW1A 2BQ
    Tel: 020 7211 6000
    Email: [email protected]


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