Broadband boost as grant scheme extended

Mark Durham, of Superconnected Leeds Bradford, hopes he will see a flurry of applications from businesses across the whole of West Yorkshire.
Mark Durham, of Superconnected Leeds Bradford, hopes he will see a flurry of applications from businesses across the whole of West Yorkshire.
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more than 27,000 small businesses in Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale are to become eligible for a grant of up to £3,000 to boost their internet connectivity, after the extension of the Government-funded Superconnected Cities scheme to include the whole of West Yorkshire.

The Superconnected Cities scheme, which awards grants to individual businesses to cover the costs of installing high speed broadband, is part of a nationwide programme to boost high-speed internet connectivity.

The scheme, delivered by Leeds City Council, was previously available to businesses within the Leeds and Bradford districts.

Mark Goldstone, head of business representation and policy at West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a huge boost to business in West Yorkshire, and means this transformational technology
grant is now available to almost 80 per cent more firms than before.”

Leeds and Bradford have seen the UK’s highest take-up rates for the vouchers and this month became the first area outside London to issue more than 1,000 connection grants.

Mark Durham of Superconnected Leeds Bradford, which administers the grants to eligible firms, said: “We have worked hard to ensure as many Yorkshire businesses as possible get access to this funding before it closes in March next year. Over 99 per cent of businesses across West Yorkshire are now eligible for a grant, so we hope to see a flurry of applications and many new connections to the superfast network.”

Richard Lewis, a councillor in Leeds, said: “The expansion of this scheme is important to make sure as many small and medium sized businesses as possible in West Yorkshire benefit, which all helps towards building a strong regional economy.”