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Rothbury leading the way on broadband, says minister

Coun Steven Bridgett, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP and Sir Alan Beith MP in Rothbury.

Coun Steven Bridgett, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP and Sir Alan Beith MP in Rothbury.

On a visit to Rothbury today, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander described the community as ‘setting an example to the rest of the country’.

As reported in today’s Gazette, Rothbury was successful in its bid for broadband funding from Defra. It is the first mainstream project in the country to get full approval from the Rural Community Broadband Fund.

Mr Alexander announced the news at a broadband forum held in the village’s Jubilee Hall, where around 80 members of the public gathered to raise further issues on superfast broadband provision in rural areas.

Local MP Sir Alan Beith welcomed him, adding: “He’s taken a personal interest in Northumberland which has been a great help. We really value his support.”

Mr Alexander said: “We want to ensure that we have one of the best broadband networks in this country anywhere in Europe.

“We see this as a key driver of economic growth.”

Ahead of the forum, the minister paid a visit to Lazy Grace, a web business based near Rothbury.

Mr Alexander said: “They just illustrate the potential. We would see businesses like that in rural communities all over the country if the right infrastructure is in place.

“I have been very impressed by the whole thing.”

The visit ended with a trip out to the B6344 to see the damage caused by the Boxing Day landslide.

 

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