Rural community takes the lead in broadband race

Independent candiate Steven Bridgett.
Independent candiate Steven Bridgett.

Households connected to a rural exchange have clocked up a staggering 60 per cent demand registration for superfast broadband – the highest rate in Northumberland.

More than 900 homes and businesses in the Rothbury, Thropton, Snitter, Cartington, Whitton & Tosson and Rothley & Hollinghill parishes have now registered their interest in bringing superfast broadband to the area.

The demand registration forms a key part of any application to Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Fund, which Rothbury is now waiting for the go-ahead from.

Coun Steven Bridgett, who led the charge, said: “What we have achieved is quite frankly staggering; we are setting the standard for the rest of Northumberland to follow. Superfast broadband is clearly a priority for the people of Coquetdale and the coming of it will be a game-changer for residents and businesses.”

James Saunby, consulting director at GreySky Consulting, who is developing the project, said: “What Steven has managed to achieve by engaging and marshalling local residents to support this is an amazing achievement and is the crucial part of our application for government funding.”

Fay Cooper, client services manager within the county council broadband team, said: “The number of registrations he has achieved for Coquetdale far exceeds any other ward in the county and his efforts have been well recognised by the success so far with Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Fund.”

You can still register by visiting www.icoquetdale.co.uk