5G Innovation Regions Fund

This competition has now closed for entry.

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) is leading the Government's approach to driving innovation and unlocking opportunities for economic growth through making use of world-class digital infrastructure. 

DSIT is inviting applications into a £40 million fund for local authorities across the UK to establish themselves as ‘5G Innovation Regions’ (5GIRs) as part of our wider programme to drive 5G adoption, with a focus on key sectors where there is local capability and opportunities. Funding will enable places throughout the UK to unlock opportunities across the digital economy which utilise advanced wireless connectivity. 

5G Innovation Regions Fund


Advanced wireless technologies will be key to driving the Government’s ambitions to harness digital transformation to build a more inclusive, competitive and innovative digital economy. Over the next decade, we will see the development and maturation of innovative technologies from Artificial Intelligence, to self-driving vehicles, to digital twins; all of which will demand advanced wireless connectivity. 

This programme supports the implementation of our UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which sets out a clear vision for how advanced wireless infrastructure can become an integral part of the fabric of the UK's economy and society by 2030, and how we want people, business and public services across the UK to realise the full benefits of 5G and other forms of advanced wireless connectivity. 

Improving digital connectivity is one of the government’s Levelling Up priorities. We want places and communities across the UK to share in the benefits of good connectivity, enriching lives and driving local growth. Our intervention also supports the government’s vision set out in our Digital Strategy for a competitive and innovative digital economy, and delivers on our Science and Technology Framework and our commitment to grow the economy. 

Tailoring interventions to their specific local needs and existing strengths, 5G Innovation Regions will promote the development and scaled adoption of 5G and other advanced wireless technologies, in businesses and in the delivery of public services, to generate value and growth at the local level.


Projects applying to this competition are expected to meet the following competition objectives: 

- Drive economic growth across the UK by supporting places to adopt advanced wireless technologies for services based around local opportunities for growth

- Accelerate commercial investment in 5G and other advanced wireless technologies by aggregating and demonstrating demand 

- Foster the 5G ecosystem enabling “learning by doing”

Processes and Dates

Applications are open for six weeks - the key milestones and deadlines are set out below: 

Milestones and Deadlines: 

- Fund opens: 31 July 2023
- Briefing event: 01 August 2023
- Deadline for clarification questions: 03 September 2023
- Deadline for receipt of applications (competition closes): 23:59, 10 September 2023
- Assessment of applications: Mid September 2023.
- Successful applicants notified: Mid-Late October 2023
- Project mobilisation: November 2023.
- Grant funding period (Subject to successful applicants’ satisfactory completion of
pre-grant requirements and commercial agreements): November 2023 - 31 March 2025.


This competition is open to applications from UK-based Local Authorities. Specific eligibility criteria for the competition can be found in the Competition Guidance.

How to apply

To submit your proposals, please refer to the ‘How to Apply’ section of the Competition Guidance, and submit all required documents via the Find a Grant site; by 23:59, 10 September 2023.


If you have any questions or would like more clarification, please contact us on 5gadoption-enquiries@dcms.gov.uk. Please note that the deadline for clarification questions is 03 September 2023. 

Your question and respective answer will be aggregated, anonymised and added to a public Q&A document unless commercially sensitive.