The latest milestone in a county-wide programme to deliver superfast broadband across Nottinghamshire has now been reached.
The Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme, which works in ensure access to superfast – minimum speeds of 24megabits per second – broadband across its area, has now reached over 70,000 extra homes and businesses. The £29million programme is run by Nottinghamshire County Council and BT, with additional funding coming from a range of partners including BDUK – the Government’s broadband delivery organisation – the City, County and District Councils, and £2.38m from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
D2N2 is the LEP for the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire area and works with businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers and community and voluntary organisations to grow its areas economy, with the aim of creating 55,000 new jobs in ten years (2013-2023). As part of this goal, D2N2 has an allocation of Local Growth Funding (LGF), which is used for projects across its area which aid business infrastructure and help create jobs. D2N2 has allocated £2.38m to the BBfN programme, which will look to see over 98% of Nottinghamshire connected to superfast broadband by the end of 2018.
This, along with the £2.19m D2N2 has allocated to the Digital Derbyshire programme – which has similar aims in the Derbyshire region – will look to see over 98% of the D2N2 area connected to superfast broadband, allowing D2N2 area businesses – particularly those in rural areas and those in the Creative and Digital Industries (one of D2N2’s eight key sectors) – to make full use of superfast broadband to improve and grow their operations online.
One of the latest Nottinghamshire areas to benefit from the BBfN programme is the Manvers Business Park, in Rushcliffe – where the BBfN programme has seen superfast broadband availability increase from 73% to 94%. Crocodile Stores (pictured) – which is one of the firms based at the business park – has already noticed a significant improvement since the availability of better broadband.
Crocodile Stores Managing Director, Matthew Kirby, said: ”We sell a lot of our products online, so need constant access. We upgraded to a faster service as soon as it became available and we can now work much more quickly and allow us to adopt online business tools with the confidence that the broadband is there to support them.
He added: “The majority of the staff at Crocodile Stores are from Cotgrave, so staying here is very important to us – this upgrade means we can do that and grow our business here.”
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, which is investing £2.63m in the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire scheme, said: “It’s a core priority for D2N2 to widen access to faster, fibre-optic broadband across its area. The latest milestone is very welcome news.
“D2N2 has agreed to invest £4.8m into BBfN and its equivalent in Derbyshire, ‘Digital Derbyshire’, from its current £192m Local Growth Fund allocation.”
Councillor Diana Meale, Chair of Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council (pictured), added: “The BBfN programme has helped Nottinghamshire become one of the best-connected counties in the country, which is great news for local people, the local economy and local jobs.
“The County Council still has an aspiration for 100 per cent superfast broadband access across Nottinghamshire and we are currently in the process of constructing a funding package for a third phase of BBfN, which we hope can bring us ever closer to that ultimate aim.”
Residents and businesses can find out more about the benefits of fibre broadband and check if their property falls within the BBfN roll out areas at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband
For more information on D2N2’s Local Growth Fund allocation and to see what else it is helping to create, visit: www.d2n2lep.org/growth/local-growth-fund
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