Copeland businesses with a CA postcode looking to update to a faster, more reliable internet connection can apply for a grant of up to £3,000 as Copeland Borough Council’s Executive agree to sign up to the Carlisle City Broadband Voucher scheme.
The Executive also agreed to lobby to have the scheme extended to include areas in the south of the borough with the LA postcode.
Carlisle Council was one of 50 successful cities which bid for the £40 million Government initiative for the Broadband Connection Voucher scheme - which provides up to £3,000 grant funding for local businesses within Carlisle and parts of Copeland with the CA postcode, Allerdale and Eden Districts.
The funding is limited and will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.
The Government’s Broadband Connection Vouchers scheme which falls under the wider umbrella of the SuperFast Britain programme funding has been allocated nationally and is available until March 31, 2016 or earlier if funding runs out.
Businesses within the designated area are now able to apply for this grant and if eligible redeem their voucher against one of the programmes many registered suppliers.
The grant pays for the installation costs – that is the capital and equipment costs of upgrading the organisation’s broadband connection and excludes any VAT charged and the monthly line rental to the service provider.
Monthly costs vary depending on the package, however a quarter of businesses pay £40 per month or less.
To apply for a broadband grant you must be a small or medium sized business (SME), or a registered charity, social enterprise or sole trader.
Business owners or managers who are unsure of which kind of broadband connection to choose should for your upgrade, can find out more via the online guide at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk
Executive lead for Economic Growth, Lena Hogg said: “We welcome these grants, and encourage businesses to act now to secure their funding, as there is a limited amount of funding available. We don’t want businesses in Copeland to miss out on this great opportunity.
“We are also seeking to find out how we can secure similar grant schemes for the south of the borough, and will encourage our colleagues in Barrow and Lancaster to work with us to lobby for a second round of funding.”
Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie said: “This is a great opportunity for some businesses and charities in Copeland to upgrade their communications now, and we are determined to ensure any further funding will benefit those organisations in the south of our borough.
“The benefits of a faster, more reliable broadband are numerous for businesses – and vital when we are preparing for the biggest economic investment the borough has ever experienced.
“Good broadband helps businesses to grow and access new markets through better communication with customers. It increases security through fast secure back-up of data, increases productivity while attracting and retaining the best staff.
“To enable existing and new businesses to future proof their organisation for the digital challenges of tomorrow you now need good broadband.
“We welcome these grants and want to ensure in the near future all business in Copeland not just those in the CA postcode area can gain from these benefits.”
Businesses can apply for the broadband grant now via the website www.connectionvouchers.co.uk
And information is available at Linkedin #Boostmybiz with superfast broadband or Twitter #boostmybiz .
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