Funding from the EU could give more than 100 extra businesses in Telford access to Superfast Broadband…
Telford businesses could benefit from Superfast broadband due to funding from the European Union.
More than 100 extra businesses are expected to be able to utilise funding to improve internet access.
The money will be provided through the Marches Broadband Grant Project. Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet is to meet on 21 July to approve proposals for a match funding mechanism and to discuss entering a partnership with Shropshire and Herefordshire Councils to deliver the project.
By the end of 2017 it is expected 98 per cent of the borough will have access to superfast broadband through the council’s Superfast Telford scheme. This is a partnership with BT and Broadband Delivery UK. The council hopes the funding from the EU can plug the remaining two per cent gap.
The funding from the EU will help around 124 eligible businesses that have already been identified. The council is looking to gain £237,818 from the European Regional Development Fund. An additional £158,545 will need to be matched. Businesses will be able to apply for between £7,000 and £25,000 to get them online. Only businesses who have not had broadband enabled through the Superfast Telford programme or by other commercial investments can apply.
Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for customer and neighbourhood services Councillor Angela McClements said: “We have made a commitment to extend fibre broadband coverage across the borough as far as possible.
“The priority is the delivery of Superfast Telford which is still in the early stages of delivery.
“However the Marches Broadband Grant scheme opens up the availability of fibre broadband to businesses that might not be covered by Superfast Telford, although some eligible businesses may receive superfast connectivity via the main programme.
“This demonstrates our commitment to ensure that as close to 100 per cent of the borough as possible has access to superfast connectivity and all the benefits it brings.”