News - 12 August 2015

£4.8m D2N2 boost for faster broadband across its area

Faster broadband delivery across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire is receiving a £4.8million boost, thanks to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

D2N2 has just agreed the sum – £2.63million for Nottinghamshire’s Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme and £2.19m for Derbyshire’s Digital Derbyshire scheme – at its latest Infrastructure and Investment Board (IIB) meeting.

Both counties are improving access to fibre optic-based broadband in line with a national push by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – which today (August 12) announced its UK rollout had topped more than three million homes and businesses (338,709 of them in the East Midlands).

By 2017 the Government wants 95% all UK businesses and homes to have access to fibre broadband with download speeds faster than 24mbps (megabits per second), greater than the mbps usually available via standard telephone lines.

The Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme is set to spend £29.5m over five years (2013-2018). On completion, it’s estimated more than 80,000 premises – 6,250 of them businesses – or close to 98% of all county premises, will have access to fibre-based broadband.

Digital Derbyshire’s (DD) scheme will also run over five years, from 2013-2018. On completion, it’s hoped that close to 98% of Derbyshire and Derby City premises will have access to faster broadband through the new fibre optic network; including more than 10,000 business premises.

The two programmes are expected to indirectly create hundreds of jobs through the improved communications technology enabling businesses to improve productivity and expand their operations, and the contract work for local firms installing the broadband infrastructure.

In both Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire the county councils are the lead authority for the broadband schemes; backed by D2N2 and other funding partners including BDUK, the European Regional Development Fund, BT and the counties’ district councils.

Jobs creation and productivity outcomes will be monitored during the life of the two counties’ projects.

Keyboard photo

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Widening access to faster, fibre optic-based broadband is a core priority for D2N2.

“Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire and Digital Derbyshire represent an opportunity to boost economic growth and create jobs; for all businesses but we see the programmes as of particular benefit to the creative and digital industries we have identified as a key economic sector in our area.”

Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme will make our area one of the best connected counties in the UK, providing the infrastructure required to meet the digital demands of modern business.

“The support of D2N2 is really welcome and is recognition of the crucial role broadband will play in bringing growth, jobs and prosperity to Nottinghamshire.”

D2N2 is a private sector-led Local Enterprise Partnership (there are 39 across England) of business, local authorities, universities, skills and training providers, and community organisations which works to promote economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

Funding for the broadband programmes in its area is through D2N2’s Local Growth Fund allocation. More information about the projects the LEP is funding can be found in its Strategy for Growth 2013-2023 report, a copy of which can be seen by clicking HERE.

For further information about this media release contact D2N2 Communications Officer Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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