Broadband Fund available

THE deadline for the Government’s £20 million rural high speed broadband fund has been extended.

Applications were due to have closed today (Friday) but rural communities and local authorities now have until June 17 to apply.

The joint Defra/Broadband Delivery UK Fund aims to help hard to reach rural communities with limited or no internet, to access superfast broadband to give their businesses and communities a greater opportunity to profit and grow.

Places in the Rye area, such as Winchelsea and Icklesham, are still struggling with some of the slowest broadband speeds in the country.

Communities and local authorities can bid for 50% or more of the total eligible project costs. The money will be used to help them build infrastructures to put broadband in place.

Environment Minister, Richard Benyon, said: “Rural broadband is crucial to getting the economy moving and businesses growing. Funding is still available and I don’t want communities to miss out on this great opportunity. Superfast broadband is transforming the lives of rural businesses and communities by helping them tap into new markets, get better exposure and save time in their working day.”

A range of groups acting on behalf of local communities can apply for funding, including social and community enterprises, businesses, community trusts and charities. Information is available the Rural Development Programme for England website.