Financial incentives for English councils to publish selected open data

The Local Government Open Data Incentive Scheme is an initiative for English local authorities funded from the Release of Data Fund, to encourage and enable local authorities to publish datasets as open data, based on data requests received by the Open Data User Group (ODUG) from the open data community. It is hoped that the results will serve as an example of how the local government sector can work together to publish data from disparate sources into a consistent national data resource, for innovative uses within the wider data community.

The Local Government Association manages the scheme which will provide technical support and coordination.  The scheme has provision to give local authorities cash incentives to publish open standardised datasets, which will combine to deliver a national view of the data. The three datasets that are funded under this initiative are:

  • public conveniences,
  • planning applications, and
  • licensing (focusing in this first instance on alcohol/light entertainment premises).

The initiative builds on existing LGA programmes and best practice to support the use of data standards to build consistent and comparable data across the local government sector. This approach will encourage wider exploitation of local transparency, making data and services comparable and supporting a more effective service delivery. The programme makes use of best practice developed by local authorities through the Local Breakthrough fund for planning applications and inventory schemas, for example.

The scheme was launched in July 2014 with three regional events in London, Bristol and Leeds for attendance by invited local authority officers.

The presentation used at the events (which includes useful hyperlinks) is available for download from the LG Inform Plus Open Data site here:

PPT (7MB) | PDF (6MB) | Slideshare (for tablets)

Full details about the scheme, FAQs, online guidance materials, and access for local authorities to register interest are available via the LG Inform Plus Open Data site too.

Join the online discussion and seek submissions assistance in the LA Open Data Incentive Scheme forum within the Local Open Data Community group of Knowledge Hub, or contact

POST NOTE: This scheme is now completed and closed.  However you might be interested in the end of scheme outcomes report and also the results of the survey that we ran with participating local authorities after completion of the work between April and June 2015.

posted by esd support on 1st July 2014

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