Funding boost for broadband in Northumberland

Northumberland’s quest for superfast broadband received another boost this week, as a £5.5million package was announced.

The cash comes from the European Regional Development Fund, with 50 per cent of the funding coming from the scheme and the other half from the county council and private sector match-funding.

Of the total, £4million is capital funding and the other £1.5million revenue funding.

This enables the council to take its capital broadband programme up another £2million to £16million plus private sector match and increases the potential coverage to businesses.

Members of the council’s economic scruting committee were told it will be used to boost broadband access for small and medium businesses across the county.

The money means that some businesses who otherwise would not have got any money at all will get funding for broadband improvements, whether that be for a fibre-optic superfast service or for an improved service from what they currently have.

The main procurement for the BDUK Government funding is in its final stages and should be completed by nor later than April 19.

The revenue funding will be used to ensure that businesses who have a better broadband service can use it to their full advantage. This will be procured separately.

lThe delivery of Rothbury’s broadband project, which received funding in the first wave of Defra schemes, is ‘at the point of signature’, according to iNorthumberland director Stephen Gray.

It is going to be brought under the wing of the new digital company.

l The iNorthumberland programme has now passed the 15,000-mark for demand registration and is approaching 16,000 (15,810).

Visit http://www.inorth umberland.org.uk/pledge