Superfast welcome from Worcestershire LEP

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership has warmly welcomed new broadband funding for the county.

LEP chairman Peter Pawsey said the extra £3.35 million was “great news” and another move towards bringing superfast broadband to most homes.

The funding allocation is from Broadband Delivery UK, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and follows the successful submission of Worcestershire’s Local Broadband Plan, Connecting Worcestershire.

The aim is to provide 90 per cent of Worcestershire’s businesses and residents with superfast broadband at 30mbps by 2015, with 100 per cent of the county being able to access at least 2mbps.

The award is in addition to £8.5 million already pledged with significant further funding anticipated from private industry.

And Worcestershire County Council, which is driving the broadband push, armed with a further £700,000, is working to address the issue of rural communities identified as being into the final 10 per cent of areas which may not otherwise receive more than 2mbps – 14 have expressed interest in developing business cases for gaining access.

Mr Pawsey said: “It is vitally important for businesses and households to have much improved broadband speeds.

“It will make businesses more efficient and productive, allowing them to respond much faster to opportunities. And superfast broadband for the home is also crucial because so many people do work from the house these days.

“This means the county will be able to put forward a much improved case to potential inward investors and those interested in relocating.

“We must now crack on and deliver this package as quickly as we can.

“As business regular reminds us, time is money. 2015 is a challenging target and we must all support the county council in their efforts.”

He added: “This is a big boost to our plans for economic growth and job creation.

“Arguably superfast broadband will do more than anything else to transform the prospects of the county.”