Fast broadband scheme a big hit

More than 40,000 small and medium-sized businesses across the UK have now benefited from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme, 1,200 of them in the North East.

Latest figures show that the move to upgrade firms to superfast broadband has seen a huge surge in demand over recent months.

The Government 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 to for individual cities, and with more than 1,000 applications now being received each week, the Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.

The scheme – which is being administered locally by Newcastle City Council’s Go Digital Newcastle project - was rolled out to the whole of the in the North East region and Tees Valley in May, following the its success in Newcastle. It, and - allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband.