Wednesday, February 26, 2014
MP welcomes £22.75million Government funding for project
A NUMBER of North Devon homes and businesses are set to benefit from extra Government funding for superfast broadband.
The Government has announced £22.75 million in funding for the Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband delivery programme, on top of the £94m already invested in bringing superfast broadband to the area.
The scheme aims to extend superfast broadband access to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017.
The latest funding is focused on bringing the service to some of the hardest to reach areas in the country – which accounts for 15 per cent of North Devon households and business.
North Devon MP Nick Harvey has welcomed to extra funding, but still has concerns over the county council being asked to contribute match funding.
“This extra funding is good news for people across North Devon – households and small businesses alike – and will really benefit the local economy,” said Mr Harvey.
“At the end of last year, I pressed the Culture Secretary to ensure that rural areas like North Devon would get the funding they needed in order to roll out superfast broadband to our most isolated areas.
“I’m pleased to see she has taken this on board and allocated £22.75 million to Devon to help deliver the programme.
“However, we are still unclear about how much our cash-strapped local authorities will be expected to contribute in match funding.
“Devon County Council is currently embarking on a huge programme of cuts in order to keep within its budget and any extra pressure can simply not be accommodated for.
“The Government will need to look for a workable funding solution that doesn’t leave our struggling councils to pick up the bill for delivery of this vital service.”
•Will your home or business benefit from superfast broadband? Get in touch with reporter Elliot Anderton: firstname.lastname@example.org.