More than 25,000 small and medium businesses (SMEs) across the UK have now benefitted from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme, latest figures published today show. The scheme, which helps SMEs get connected to superfast broadband has seen a huge surge in demand in recent months.
The Government has made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme, and the vouchers are being issued on a “first come, first served” basis. Funds have not been ring fenced for individual cities, and Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.
The scheme allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband. So far, more than 25,000 businesses in the 50 cities across the UK participating in the scheme have received grants, with thousands more currently going through the application process. The scheme has helped a huge variety of businesses to date, including cafes, graphic designers, architects, estate agents, mechanics, events coordinators and caterers.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
The Government’s broadband connection voucher scheme is proving tremendously popular and we are now issuing around 1000 vouchers every week. Businesses need to be properly equipped for all the challenges of the digital world in which we live and I urge all eligible businesses to apply as soon as possible to make sure they don’t miss out on the fantastic offer.
The grant, in the form of a voucher, is part of the government’s broadband transformation across the nation, helping cities to create and attract new jobs and investment, and making the UK the best place in the world to do business.
Vouchers issued as at 31 May 2015:
- Scotland - 1,043
- Wales - 1,126
- Northern Ireland - 1,356
- North West - 4,188
- North East - 653
- Yorks and Humber - 3,781
- Midlands - 2,660
- London - 8,857
- East of England - 601
- South East - 1,047
- South West - 845
Benefits small businesses are seeing as a result of a faster connection include:
- Growing and accessing new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers
- Increasing security through fast secure back-up of data
- Increasing productivity and improving customer service through faster upload and download speeds
Businesses can find out if they are eligible and get more details on the broadband connection voucher scheme at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk