OPE 10 Funding Prospectus – December 2023

The application window is now open for the tenth phase of the One Public Estate (OPE) programme. Up to £1.2 million of grant funding is available and each OPE partnership is invited to submit one project for consideration.


February 2024 - Applications for OPE 10 are closed and the following partnerships have been successful in their applications:

OPE Partnership

Funding awarded

Connecting Warwickshire OPE Board £148,984
Devon & Torbay £150,000
East Riding £75,000
East Sussex (SPACES) £150,000
Havering. Barking & Dagenham OPE Property Board £100,000
Lewisham Health & Care Partnership (LHCP) £100,000
Norfolk OPE Partnership Board £150,000
North Midlands £150,000
Tees Valley £150,000
Wider Hampshire £119,500

The application window is now open for the tenth phase of the One Public Estate (OPE) programme. Up to £1.2 million of grant funding is available and each OPE partnership is invited to submit one project for consideration. There is a short, two-stage application process proportionate to the OPE 10 funding offer, starting with an Expression of Interest (EoI) and followed by a more detailed application for shortlisted applicants.

The OPE programme is a partnership between the Office of Government Property (OGP) in the Cabinet Office, the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Our joint aim is to bring public sector bodies together; to create better places by using public assets more efficiently, creating service and financial benefits for partners; and releasing public land for housing and development. We provide revenue support plus expertise and neutral brokering to locally-led OPE Partnerships to achieve these ambitions.   

OPE Partnerships have a broad portfolio of projects supporting cross-public sector priorities including housing, health and social care integration, joined-up public services, town centre revival, regeneration, local growth deals and net-zero carbon ambitions. The programme’s national coverage and flexibility means it can also support the Government’s commitment to level-up every part of the UK by investing in towns and cities, rural and coastal areas.

Since 2017, the OPE programme has operated a sustainable grant funding model. When projects are in a position to return their grant funding, OPE reinvests that money to fund other projects. The funding pot for OPE 10 comes from returned sustainable grants. To date, OPE has distributed £11.6m to OPE projects as sustainable grants. Of this, £4.9m has already been returned to be reinvested into projects that support Levelling up.

This includes Opportunity Development funding awarded to 47 partnerships to develop a pipeline of projects specifically to address social justice issues relating to health, housing and children’s education. This fund will provide an opportunity to accelerate the delivery of some of those identified projects. 

OPE 10

As with all OPE funding, OPE 10 will support collaborative, locally-led projects that bring together central and local government and wider public sector partners to improve and transform services for local communities. In this OPE round, we are committed to targeting the funding towards ambitious and innovative projects that demonstrate best practice in public service delivery. 

With a focus on innovation, we are seeking to support work that addresses local challenges in new ways. This can include innovation in product or processes, delivering solutions that are collaborative, future-focused and sustainable.

OPE 10 seeks to support innovative property projects where partners are collaborating to transform public service delivery in order to better meet local needs and outcomes. This may be across any of the following themes:

  • Estate rationalisation
  • Health, sustainability and community
  • Town centre regeneration 
  • Education, employment, skills.

This fund will provide grants of £75k - £150k for projects developed through the OPE collaborative ethos to unlock their next stage of delivery. 

We will fund ambitious land and property projects that:

  • demonstrate collaboration across central and local government and wider public sector bodies;
  • support public service transformation and contribute to one or more of One Public Estate’s core programme outputs (capital receipts and reduced running costs, jobs and land released for housing); and
  • support levelling up.
  • Demonstrate progress towards local and national environmental sustainability commitments. 

OPE 10 funding is designed to support projects that are ambitious and innovative, where partners are championing new approaches and are ready to take the next step into delivery. Funding will be awarded to partners for activity that meaningfully accelerates the delivery of their project. Types of activity that could be funded include:

  • feasibility studies
  • business case development
  • options appraisals
  • surveys, valuations and design works
  • specialist expertise 
  • project management.

Examples of activity that will not be funded include:

  • early phase master planning
  • pipeline development 
  • Partnership Programme Management
  • planning application fees
  • community engagement and consultation, marketing
  • legal fees
  • capital works.

You may find it helpful to look at OPE case studies for transformational colocation and hub projects showcasing innovation and partnership working in West Suffolk, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire on our web pages

For further advice and guidance on activity that would be eligible for funding, please contact your regional team.

Expressions of Interest, applications and assessment

There is a short, two-stage application process, starting with an EoI and followed by a more detailed application for shortlisted applicants. Each OPE partnership is invited to submit an EoI for one project,  for funding of between £75-150k from the total grant funding pot of up to £1.2 million. We expect to shortlist up to 25 applications.


Expressions of Interest

  • Midday 18 December 2023: EoI deadline.
  • 3 January 2024: Shortlist confirmed. Partnerships invited to submit full application


  • Midday 29 January 2024: Application deadline for shortlisted projects

Grants awarded

  • End of February 2024: Confirmation of successful applications
  • 8 March: Deadline to return signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU)
  • By 31 March: Grant payments made 

To help partnerships make the best use of limited capacity we have designed a streamlined application process. For further support please discuss your application directly with your regional team.

Expression of Interest

The EoI form is designed to capture basic information about your project, outline the funding required and clarify what makes your project innovative. We will also use this stage to check eligibility. The EoI form needs to be submitted by midday on Monday 18 December 2023. 

We have designed this EoI form to be as easy to complete as possible, whilst providing sufficient information to shortlist fairly. At this EoI stage we are looking to be inspired and excited by your project plans. The application and assessment stage will offer the opportunity to provide further project detail, a solid strategic case, and the expected outcomes, outputs and benefits from the project. 

The EoI form asks Partnerships for the following information about the project they are nominating for funding: 

1. Meeting the eligibility criteria

To pass the eligibility checks each applicant must confirm through yes/no answers that:

  • The project is a collaboration between two or more partners from local and central government.
  • The funded activity and benefits will be delivered within 3-5 years.
  • The Partnership, if shortlisted, will be able to complete a more detailed application by 29 January 2024. 
  • The Partnership agrees to adhere to the reporting requirements, by providing regular data on partnership activity, project progress and benefits delivery updates which is currently required three times a year. 
  • All EoIs will need to be signed off by a Head of Service (or equivalent) or above, from the lead partner. If your EoI is successful, the detailed application form will need to be signed off by the Partnership’s lead authority’s S151 officer or CEO. 

2. Project Description  

In no more than 500 words, provide an outline of the project the Partnership is nominating for funding. Explain what the proposed project is seeking to achieve and by when, and how this project will deliver public service transformation.

3. Case for funding need

In no more than 300 words, outline how much funding is being sought, why the funding is needed, how the funding will be used and to what extent this funding would provide a step change in project delivery. Please provide details of the match funding you have secured to deliver this project.

4. Innovation 

In no more than 300 words, outline how the project represents best practice in public service innovation, meaning development and implementation of new methods or ideas. To what extent does this project show innovation in public service delivery, through process or product? How committed are all partners to the innovations proposed?

Review of EoIs

Each EoI will be reviewed against the four areas outlined above in 2b. Projects with strongest fit will be shortlisted and invited to submit a more detailed application as below. We expect to shortlist up to 25 projects for the application stage.

Application process for shortlisted projects

For those EoIs shortlisted, the application process will provide the opportunity to showcase your project in more detail. We have streamlined our application process to be proportionate to the OPE 10 funding offer. The application form will include:

  • Project Details 
  • Strategic Case
  • Deliverability & Risk
  • Value for money

We expect applications to be between 6-10 pages of A4 at 11pt. Applications should not rely on supporting material to make the case for funding as these will not be reviewed as part of the assessment. That said, applicants are welcome to reference and/or provide links to relevant strategies etc to illustrate strategic links. 

All applications will need to be signed off by your S151 officer at the time of submission.

How your application will be assessed:



Strategic Case

Proposals will be assessed against their potential to deliver significant service transformation using innovative approaches. Projects with the potential to realise outcomes that create economic opportunity and improved citizen health and wellbeing will score more highly.

The assessment will also consider the degree to which the project champions innovation and wider local and national government priorities, for example the Government Property Strategy or digital transformation.

All projects will need to consider environmental sustainability to both limit any potential damage, and make a positive impact on the environment.


Deliverability and Risk

This will be scored based on confidence in the deliverability of the project, including an assessment on the mitigation of risks, associated timescales, and track record of delivery. 


Value for Money 

Scoring will reflect how the funding will enhance or accelerate the project and its impact, also taking into account the investment (both time and funding) partners are collectively making. 

Scoring will reflect whether the proposed OPE project demonstrates value for money in the nature and scale of benefits they seek to deliver for the investment sought.


Place score (For assessment only)

The location of projects will be taken into account, ensuring the programme supports the Government’s commitment to level up every part of the UK. We will use indicators of relative deprivation (Indices of Deprivation 2019) and average productivity (Gross Value Added per hour worked) to support our assessment. 



To be considered for shortlisting, and funding, applications will need to score in all three assessed criteria. 

How to apply

To be proportionate with the scale of funding and time available, this funding application process will be managed in two stages: EOI and full application. 

All OPE Partnerships were invited to submit one EOI per OPE Partnership by Monday 18 December. A small short list of successful candidates have been invited to submit a full application by Midday 29 January 2024.

Shortlisted applicants must fill in the following forms:

These forms must be submitted by emailing [email protected] by Midday 29 January.

For further advice and guidance on how to structure your application, please contact your regional team.

Late applications (any which are received after the deadlines stated above), either in part or full, will not be accepted.

Further Information and FAQs

Shortlisted projects - a guide to the information you will need to provide

Shortlisted projects will need to provide the following information in their application form:

Project Details 

  1. A project summary 
  2. Funding amount being requested
  3. Match funding available (the amount, and partner providing match funding)
  4. High level breakdown of costs 
  5. Site information 
  6. Cross public sector involvement

Strategic Case

  1. Project rationale,  objectives and outcomes
  2. Evidence of an innovative approach
  3. Fit with policy context and local needs  
  4. Wider policy contribution - i.e levelling up.


  1. Project governance
  2. Project approval from your OPE Partnership and key partner organisations
  3. Proposed procurement route
  4. Project risks and mitigations
  5. Key delivery milestones


  1. Impact and wider benefits
  2. Realisation of benefits (capital receipts/ reduced running costs/ jobs/ land released for housing/colocations).
  3. Need for OPE 10 funding
  4. How the project will provide value for money

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions which have been asked by partnerships about OPE funding. We will update/circulate FAQs throughout the application window. If you have any questions, please ask your regional team. 

About One Public Estate

For more information about OPE, visit the programme's homepage.