Funding Award & Project Announcement

South London Partnership boroughs awarded £4m for Internet of Things project to help people live better, healthier lives and to generate economic growth

14th August 2019

The South London Partnership (SLP), a group of five boroughs, has been awarded £4 million to create an Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring system to improve people’s lives through better transport, environment, health and other areas while also improving business retention and sustainable economic growth.

The funding will allow the SLP to develop and deliver a sustainable multi-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) platform which involves connecting various sensors across borough boundaries. The project will bring together technology and places to create spaces that address challenges in our communities and opportunities to help people live better, healthier lives and live independently for longer. It could also deliver significant savings to borough budgets.

Funds from the London Business Rates Pilot have been awarded to the Partnership, which comprises the councils of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton, as part of the 2018-19 Business Rate Retention Strategic Investment Pot (SIP) which is administered by the City of London Corporation.

The project will use IoT to obtain new data insights using internet-connected sensors, with minimal human intervention.

Examples of this insight are:

  • Being able to understand where people travel to and from, the routes they take, and what times they make their journeys
  • Support planning to build the right type of safer and happier communities and enable regeneration
  • Insight into where and when people visit certain locations
  • Combining air quality and location data to see how many people’s health is affected in certain areas. This can help local authorities make plans to reduce pollutants, resulting in cleaner and healthier places
  • Ultimately, we also need to change the way we live our lives – people must better engage with their environment to make it more sustainable for future generations
  • Ability to monitor the impact of our lives on the environment (e.g. waste and air pollution) 

Ultimately, a national local government IoT network and platform could be developed, including the safe and secure sharing of data between councils, universities and the public. 

Sutton has been selected to lead the project on behalf of all other South London Partnership borough. The project will also help realise the Mayor of London’s Smarter London Together roadmap for enhancing digital leadership and skills.

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Background to the funding:

In 2017, the Mayor, London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London Corporation established the London Business Rates Pool, with the agreement of central Government. This means London retains 100 per cent of any growth in business rates income over and above the business rates baseline set by Government for the financial year 2018/2019. As part of the deal, 15 percent of this extra funding, around £52 million, is being channelled to a Strategic Investment Pot. London Councils and the City of London Corporation convened a panel of senior officers from across London to consider and award bids for this funding from across the capital.