40,000 UK businesses have their broadband boosted

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey urges businesses to apply for £3000 broadband grants before it’s too late

More than 40,000 small and medium businesses (SMEs) across the UK have now benefitted from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme, latest figures published today show. The scheme, which helps SMEs get connected to superfast broadband has seen a huge surge in demand in recent months, but time is running out for businesses to take advantage of the initiative.
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 for individual cities, and with more than 1000 applications now being received each week, Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.
The scheme allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband. So far, more than 40,000 businesses in the 50 cities across the UK participating in the scheme have had grants approved. The scheme has helped a huge variety of businesses to date, including architects, estate agents, mechanics, events coordinators cafes, graphic designers and caterers.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“Our offer to small businesses has been a tremendous success and is proving incredibly popular. More than 40,000 UK businesses have already taken up our offer which is aimed at boosting both their broadband speeds as well as their bottom line. Businesses need to act now to ensure they don’t miss out on this fantastic offer and I’m urging all eligible businesses to apply now before it’s too late.”
The grant, in the form of a voucher, is part of the government’s transformation of the UK’s digital landscape, helping cities to create and attract new jobs and investment, and making the UK the best place in the world to do business.

Vouchers issued as at 25 August 2015:
• Scotland – 2087
• Wales – 2042
• Northern Ireland – 1867
• North West – 6344
• North East – 1291
• Yorks and Humber – 5734
• Midlands – 5179
• London – 11664
• East of England – 1407
• South East – 1592
• South West – 1734
(Please see notes to Editors for a city-by-city breakdown of vouchers issued)

Benefits small businesses are seeing as a result of a faster connection include:
• Growing and accessing new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers
• Increasing security through fast secure back-up of data
• Increasing productivity and improving customer service through faster upload and download speeds

Businesses can find out if they are eligible and get more details on the broadband connection voucher scheme at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Vouchers issued in each city

City Total
Aberdeen 276
Belfast 1610
Birmingham 2494
Bournemouth^ 406
Brighton and Hove 831
Bristol 1217
Cambridge 674
Cardiff 1470
Carlisle* 11
Chelmsford^ 61
Coventry 1141
Derby 328
Derry/Londonderry 257
Dundee^ 45
Edinburgh 961
Exeter^ 87
Glasgow 583
Gloucester^ 125
Hull^ 673
Inverness^ 43
Ipswich^ 150
Kent Towns* 42
Leeds-Bradford 4016
Leicester^ 252
Liverpool^ 1345
London 11664
Manchester 4163
Middlesbrough^ 159
Milton Keynes^ 317
Newcastle 1077
Newport 230
Norwich^ 54
Nottingham^ 263
Oxford 438
Perth 90
Peterborough^ 91
Plymouth^ 64
Portsmouth 309
Preston^ 288
Reading^ 64
Salford 537
Sheffield 508
Southampton^ 134
Southend-on-Sea^ 60
Stirling^ 89
Stoke-on-Trent^ 128
Sunderland^ 55
Swansea^ 342
Swindon^ 47
Wolverhampton^ 135
York 537
* joined scheme in June 15
^ joined scheme in April 15

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