Twelve UK cities are set to move into the fast lane with the announcement today of a multi-million pound investment in ultrafast broadband.
The investment, announced today by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement, will help create a second wave of ‘super-connected cities’. By offering high-tech and digital companies the infrastructure they need, they will be able to compete for business, investment and jobs with the world’s top digital cities.
The twelve cities are: Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salford, and York in England; Aberdeen and Perth in Scotland; Newport in Wales; and Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland. Each will take a share of the £50 million super-connected city fund set up to provide homes and businesses with ultrafast broadband (at least 80-100Mbps) and high speed wireless Internet access.
Culture Secretary Maria Miller said:
Fast broadband is essential for growth and the creation of jobs. We have made significant progress with our broadband programme over the last few months, cutting through EU red tape and that continues. The twelve cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give local economies a real boost. The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment and supporting Britain in the global race.
The Government is transforming the UK’s digital infrastructure as a key driver of jobs and economic growth. It is investing £680m over the lifetime of this Parliament to deliver the best broadband in Europe.
Government funding for this phase of the Super-Connected City Programme was open to cities with a Royal Charter and more than 45,000 homes and businesses, or more than 35,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland. Local authorities were invited to apply for funding, making a commitment to provide their own investment and to seek finance from the Private Sector.
Notes to Editors
- The total sum allocated to the 12 cities is £50 million. Individual allocations for cities will be announced in due course. The full list of cities awarded funding in today’s announcement is: Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Oxford, Portsmouth, Salford, and York in England; Aberdeen and Perth in Scotland; Newport in Wales; and Derry/Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
- Today’s announcement is for the second round of funding for super-connected cites. The first wave of cities to receive funding was announced in the 2012 Budget. They are Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds-Bradford (joint bid), London, Manchester and Newcastle.
- The Government wants the UK to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015 and the fastest of any major European country. The Comprehensive Spending Review allocated £680 million for investing in broadband over this Parliament.
- The availability of funding is subject to State aid approval and a demonstrably viable business case.
- In September the Culture Secretary announced plans to simplify the planning system to speed-up the roll-out of superfast broadband. Under the new plans broadband street cabinets and other infrastructure can be installed without the need for prior approval from the local council; broadband companies will face less cost and bureaucracy in laying cables in streets; and broadband cables and cabinets can be installed on or under private land without the bureaucratic burden of long-running negotiations.
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