Lancashire County Council aims to raise £60m to support fast broadband rollout

By Derek du Preez
26 Jul 2011 View Comments
Lancashire County Council home page

Lancashire County Council hopes to secure £60m in funding to support the roll out of its superfast broadband network.

The council expects to receive £13m from the £530m being made available by the government, and is looking for a further£16.5m from the European Regional Development Fund.

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The remaining £30.5m would need to be provided by the commercial sector from companies such as BT.

The county aims to roll out its superfast broadband network by 2014, a year ahead of the government's national target.

"Attracting major funding will help to develop a sustainable economy in Lancashire," said Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

"The introduction of next-generation broadband across the whole county by 2014 would further unlock the business potential that exists here in Lancashire to generate growth from the economy," he added.

"Next-generation broadband could help to transform business by increasing the ability of companies to develop new products and expand into other services."

It is hoped that the superfast network will bring new economic activity worth a total of £3bn over the next 10 years to Lancashire, and will create about 40,000 new jobs.

Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, is expected to announce the next round of funding to be allocated to local authorities at the end of this month.

The first wave of the government's funding was agreed in October 2010 for four UK-based pilot projects in North Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Cumbria and the Highlands – to establish a model for broadband provision in rural areas. Each project was allocated between £5m and £10m.

Further projects in Devon and Somerset, Wiltshire and Norfolk were unveiled in May 2011.


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