Government grants for superfast broadband extended to help more local businesses
Government grants of up to £3000 to install superfast broadband have been extended to cover businesses in ALL CB postcodes, including towns and villages in parts of Suffolk and North-West Essex.
More than 4000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the CB8, CB9, CB10 and CB11 postcode areas including business parks and home-based businesses are now eligible to apply for connection vouchers to boost their digital connectivity.
The Connection Voucher scheme provides funding of between £100 and £3000 to pay for the installation of superfast broadband to offices and is available to businesses with fewer than 250 employees, sole traders and charities. Once installed, businesses pay the line rental and VAT. Groups of businesses on the same site can also apply together for connection vouchers.
The scheme is being run by Connecting Cambridgeshire’s successful Destination Digital support project, led by Cambridgeshire County Council, and has already helped hundreds of businesses in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to get connected.
The Government has agreed to cover Cambridgeshire postcodes in response to demand from businesses and technology suppliers in key economic areas in parts of West Suffolk including Newmarket and Haverhill and north-west Essex including Saffron Walden.
County Councillor Mathew Shuter, Business Champion for Cambridgeshire County Council’s Economy and Environment Committee, said:
“I am delighted that more businesses on the Cambridgeshire borders can now benefit from Connection Vouchers to help improve their broadband connectivity, which is vital so that they can grow and compete in a digital world. Hundreds of businesses have already benefited from this popular scheme, but the funding is going fast so we are urging businesses to apply as soon as possible.”
The announcement has been welcomed as a boost for local businesses. Nic Rumsey, director of Jaynic, the developer of Haverhill Research Park, said:
“We are delighted that Haverhill is now eligible for connection vouchers to boost its digital connectivity. This will hugely benefit the town and Haverhill Research Park, which has the potential to attract businesses employing up to a total of 3,000 people. Having a subsidy towards the cost of super-fast digital connectivity will make it an infinitely more appealing location for companies considering coming to the park and will put it on a par with other Cambridge business parks.”
Businesses can find out if they are eligible and apply online on the Destination Digital website: www.destinationdigital.info/vouchers. Applications from the extended CB postcodes areas will be processed on a first-come, first served basis in September 2015.