Landmark deal as broadband heads to valley

Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP visits Lazy Grace near Rothbury where is is seen with Sir Alan Beith MP and John Tate  (left) from Lazy Grace and Cllr Steven Bridgett (right).
Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander MP visits Lazy Grace near Rothbury where is is seen with Sir Alan Beith MP and John Tate (left) from Lazy Grace and Cllr Steven Bridgett (right).
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Superfast broadband is a step closer for a north Northumberland community, after the county council signed a deal to deliver its project.

The council signed a landmark agreement with BT and GreySky Consulting to deliver the community-led scheme in Rothbury, which received £460,000 of funding from Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Fund along with a substantial investment from BT and through direct community involvement.

BT will deliver the project using fibre technology, which is already being extended to other parts of Northumberland.

It is expected that 98 per cent of homes and businesses in Rothbury and the surrounding areas will have access to the superfast broadband by the end of 2014.

Rural Affairs Minister Richard Benyon said: “This is great news for the people of Rothbury. They will be the first rural uplands area to receive superfast broadband under the Rural Community Broadband Fund.

“It will be as easy to run an internet-dependent business in Rothbury as it is in the middle of Newcastle.”

The project has been developed by Northumberland-based GreySky Consulting, who, with the support of the county council’s iNorthumberland team, led on the bid to secure the funding and agree the contract with BT.