Open data funding for local government

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Cabinet Office offered funding through the Breakthrough Fund and the Release of Data Fund to support the wider release of public open data. The Open Data Breakthrough Fund aims to remove barriers to facilitate the release of data, and to enhance the ability to access and make use of open data. The Release of Data Fund is informed by the business cases developed by the Open Data User Group (ODUG), understanding and representing the wider open data community's demands for open data from Public Sector data holders. It also supports projects that build capacity among data owners, as well as those that span several public sector data owners with a regional or national impact.

Information about the funding programmes

The local government open data breakthrough programme received £ 1 million funding in 2013/14 and in 2014/15 which was made available specifically to local authorities. The 2013/14 Local Government open data breakthrough programme managed by the Local Government Association (LGA) is now completed. Short case study reports of some of  the projects have been published which provide some good examples of open data publishing practice.

Cllr Tim Cheetham chaired the local government review panel and said: "Local authorities have already proven themselves to be committed to open data and this funding will help councils develop data publishing further. There are some great examples of authorities using open data to benefit their communities and we hope this money will help local groups and businesses access data and drive social and economic growth in their areas."

Local projects funded through the 2014/15 local breakthrough programme are listed below.

All funding for 2014/15 has now been allocated. Local authority projects funded by the Release of Data Fund and managed by Cabinet Office are listed here. For further information on the local open data breakthrough programme, please, contact Gesche Schmid at

Local open data breakthrough projects awarded in 2014/15

Lead organisation

Name of project


Carlisle City Council

Open Business Rates Data

Provision of open access to real time information about Business Rates held by Carlisle City Council

Cheshire East Council

Open flexible geographies

Provision of a tool to publish non-official geographical areas individually and in hierarchies as open data with Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) associated with their shapes and other properties.

Derby City Council

Enabling Local Authority Assets Information

Provision of comprehensive, high quality, up-to-date information on local authority owned land and property assets

Hampshire County Council

Linked Planning Register

Development of a schema and open source tool to enable collating and publishing of linkable planning data.

London Borough of Harrow

Hot Harrow

An investigation using GIS technology into the thermal properties in the London Borough of Harrow. Outputs thermal and height imagery as well as building footprints. Data to be openly reusable. To aid service delivery, environmental projects, open data and detection of unsafe dwellings.

London Borough of Harrow

ProClass Spend Classification Standard

To publish and support the Proclass procurement classification system as part of the local government standards on LGInform+

London Borough of Hounslow

Customer Data Gateway 

Extension of cloud based technology to provide an online platform for all FOI datasets in accessible formats. Joint project with West London alliance (Ealing, Harrow and Brent). Publication of Schemas in Datashare. Customer engagement.

Leeds City Council

The Data Mill

To release Open Data and make improvements to the Data Mill, work will include training, workshops, and internal "hack" events

London Councils

Intelligent London: Skills Match

Skills Match will bring skills data and labour market data together and analyse it to enable policy-makers, practitioners and employers to take an intelligence-led, geographically specific approach to addressing youth unemployment in London.

Mid Suffolk District Councils

Releasing Data for All

A collaborative programme involving several authorities within Suffolk to make various datasets held throughout the county accessible to all. 

Norfolk County Council

Norfolk – Linked procurement data

Redesigning how Norfolk publishes procurement data to create new insights.

North Somerset Council

Providing open access to multi-media historic and tourism data

Creation of schemas that will enable the ‘open' publication of data which can be applied to the release of both local history and tourism. Publication of comprehensive information about tourist information /landmarks to assist in developing local tourism.

Salford City Council

A Local Plan for Local Data

To develop a local open data portal based on CKAN open source technology which compliments national and regional data portals

Sedgemoor District Council

Community Impact Mitigation of Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station

The project will extract that evidence from documents, and publish it as 5* data, linked to mitigation projects, encouraging 3rd party presentation and analysis

Sheffield City Council

Sheffield Open Air Quality Network Data

The publication of air quality and related data as a co-design process for citizen engagement and innovation which the project will enable and support centred around the local Digital Media Centre network, and the production of toolkits and resources to embed learning. 

Tameside Council

Local Sites for Local People

Sourcing and collation of Geographical Information System (GIS) layers and database information, including land ownership details, of all SBIs within Greater Manchester. Adding this information to existing associated mapped data and making it available back to key users. 

City of York

Automated Structure of the Managing and Publishing of Open Data

To provide an infrastructure within the existing Public Services Network that will enable City of York Council to automate the collection, data quality checks, and data formatting to facilitate release of open data.


Cabinet Office funded local projects through the Release of Data Fund

Projects awarded in 2013/14

Project Title



Local government incentive scheme


Local government incentive scheme received £730K of funding from the Release of Data Fund to encourage local authorities to publish three datasets in a standardised and consistent format to help create a national view of local data.  The LGA is administering the scheme on behalf of ODUG.

Troubled Families Ecosystem

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

This project will develop the standards model and wider data ecosystem relating to troubled families to support open data across local public services.


Leeds City Council

Leeds Council to create a hub for data to support citizens by making data about public services freely available. Funding for future stages will be reviewed in due course.


Project awarded in 2014/15

Project title



Trafford Innovation Lab

Trafford Council

Trafford Council. This Innovation Lab will bring together multiple local stakeholders to speed up the identification and release of Open Data and will give greater insight into Trafford's local area than is possible in isolation. The lab will operate an open workspace, where members of the developer community, SMEs and the voluntary sector can come together to identify beneficial datasets and test innovative ideas for using Open Data

Greater Manchester Infrastructure Platform

New Economy Manchester

Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (GM LEP). The GM LEP has identified the lack of an overall understanding of the infrastructure across Greater Manchester as a major barrier to growth. This project will bring together all public data on infrastructure within Greater Manchester and will seek to include relevant private sector data. It is hoped that the result will generate a blueprint which other local areas can draw on in the future.

Cambridgeshire Open-Data Partners: Open Technology for an Open Partnership

Cambridgeshire County Council

Spread best-practice developed using previous ‘Open Data Breakthrough' funding across a partnership of public sector data owners in Cambridgeshire. 

Birmingham Data and Skills Hub

Birmingham City Council

Development of a new open data hub and tools to release new datasets.

Bridging the Gap – Enabling and Automating Data Donation

Milton Keynes Council

Development of existing MK:Smart programme.

My London


Showcase for linked API data and develop an App that will allow people to define an area or neighbourhood of interest and pull back an up-to-date range of data


25 March 2015

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