Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) are being encouraged to check if they’re eligible for a Broadband Connection Voucher from Northamptonshire County Council to get them connected to the superfast broadband network. A Connection Voucher can provide up to 50% of the cost of upgrading their internet connection to speeds of 30Mbps or more (up to a value of £2,500).
The funding for the vouchers has been made available through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the Northamptonshire Digital Enhancement Project. The connection vouchers are one stream of the project aiming to help Northamptonshire based SMEs make digital improvements.
Delivered through the Northamptonshire Growth Hub, Northamptonshire County Council and the University of Northampton are working together to support SME digital growth and extend the impact of the Superfast Northamptonshire project.
Who is eligible?
The connection vouchers are being offered to qualifying Northamptonshire based businesses who are not in areas with plans for commercial coverage or covered by the Superfast Northamptonshire project. This is indicated by the light blue area, “Other Stage 3 Measures”, on the “When and Where” broadband rollout map on the Superfast Northamptonshire website, www.superfastnorthamptonshire.net
“A fast and reliable internet connection is a must for businesses. The UK’s Digital Strategy states that small and medium-sized enterprises with a strong web presence grow on average more than twice as quickly as those with minimal or no presence, export twice as much, and create twice as many jobs.” said Cllr. Andre Gonzales de Savage, cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic development, and public protection. “Particularly for smaller businesses with limited resources, the ability to do things efficiently online can make all the difference to productivity.
“Northamptonshire is well ahead of the national trend with superfast broadband coverage expected to reach 97% by the end of 2017. However, if your business does not yet have access, please get in touch to see if we can help.”
How to apply
Businesses are asked to call Northamptonshire Growth Hub on 01604 212696 or visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/digitalbusiness to find out more about the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme and determine if they are eligible to receive funding.