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Superfast funding boost

Friday 11 January 2013 5:00

Rothbury and the surrounding areas are a step closer to superfast broadband connection with the announcement of £450,000 of government funding.

The cash will come from the Rural Community Broadband Fund, set up to provide additional funding to support superfast broadband projects in those areas likely to be outside the government’s main superfast delivery targets.

The Rothbury project has been led by James Saunby – consulting director of Northumberland based GreySky Consulting.

James said: “The approval of the RCBF funding for the Rothbury project is a huge step forward. We have already secured state aid approval and selected our preferred supplier for the project, and this is another step towards bringing the UK’s leading superfast broadband provider to one of the most challenging environments.”

Securing funding relied on strong community support and 60% registered demand for superfast broadband in the project area.

Councillor Steven Bridgett said: “Superfast broadband is essential to the community and economy in Rothbury and the surrounding areas. The support from the community for this project has been enormous, so this is a really important milestone.”

The final stages of the project will be led by Northumberland County Council as part ofits iNorthumberland programme to deliver improved broadband connectivity.

Saunby added: “The North East includes some of the most difficult areas in the UK for superfast broadband. The Rural Community Broadband Fund has £20m of funding for the hardest to reach areas in England. GreySky is working on projects in Northumberland, Tees Valley and County Durham – we hope to bring at least £4m of the funding to the North East.”