Small businesses in 22 cities in the UK are now able to apply for grant of up to £3,000 to cover the cost of installing faster broadband connectivity.
Initially 10 cities will be eligible for the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme. These are: Belfast, Salford, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newport, London and Manchester. Business within these cities will be able to apply for grants now. The government is looking to extend the scheme to a further 12 cities early next year.
The money comes from the governments £150 million Super Connected Cities fund. This forms part of a wider plan to help small businesses. The government plan is to help out SMEs to grow and become more successful.
“Up to £3,000 of broadband vouchers for small business in these cities is not only a massive boost for growth in the UK, but also has the potential to bring China to Cardiff, Brazil to Bristol and the Emirates to Edinburgh in an increased export market,” said Prime Minister David Cameron.
“As part of our economic plan, I want to give our small businesses every possible advantage to compete in the global race – and also the flexibility to locate or set up right across the UK. To do that we are working on a complete overhaul of the UK’s infrastructure; high speed broadband is a vital part of this.”
The scheme is part of the Government’s wider Superfast Britain programme, which aims to get around 88 per cent of the country access to superfast broadband by December 2015, with an estimated 90 per cent getting superfast coverage by early 2016.
The roll out of the Connection Voucher Scheme across all 22 cities follows successful market testing in five cities over the summer of 2013.