£45 Million Funding Now Unlocked for Superfast Broadband

CDS Logo (With Text, No LAs)Connecting Devon and Somerset has confirmed extra funding has been raised for its superfast broadband programme, bringing the total to around £45 million. Previously the programme had secured £38 million after local contributions were matched with Government funding.

The final contribution came from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which has been granted money through the Government’s Growth Deal announced today. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, visited Lupimedia, an Internet company based in Yeovil, to talk about this investment for the Connecting Devon and Somerset programme. He said;

“A quiet revolution is underway in Somerset, Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and across the country, as Growth Deals signal the death of the culture where Whitehall calls the shots. I’ve seen for myself the difference it makes to give this region more power over skills, over business support, over infrastructure spending.

“I am delighted to announce the expansion of the Heart of the South West Growth Deal today.

“The Coalition Government has been relentless in our efforts to sort out the public finances and set firm foundations for growth. Growth Deals help create a stronger economy and a fairer society by boosting local economies, and providing more jobs, better transport and affordable homes.”

Councillor David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said:

“Now that we’ve achieved our additional funding target locally this has unlocked the final £3 million of matched Government funding, meaning we’ve now reached – in fact exceeded – our overall target and have a total of around £45 million. We will invest this in our project to bring 100% superfast broadband coverage to the area by 2020, with an added focus on business supported by the funding coming from the LEP.

“As announced recently, we will soon be opening our tender process for the next stage of the programme. Once complete we will be able to hit the ground running and continue delivering superfast broadband to new areas.”

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth for Devon County Council, said:

“We are delighted that the Local Enterprise Partnership has agreed to invest this funding in helping provide superfast broadband to people in Devon and Somerset. This essential service unlocks huge benefits for our businesses and residents – our programme is predicted to bring an extra three quarters of a billion pounds into the local economy.”

More information is available on Connecting Devon and Somerset’s web site at connectingdevonandsomerset.co.uk, where you can search for your postcode to check on superfast broadband in your area.

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