Following North Yorkshire County Council’s application for funding from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Local Full Fibre Wave 2 Challenge Fund, Philip Hammond announced in his Spring Statement yesterday that the bid had been successful.
One of thirteen areas across the country set to benefit from the £95 million fund, North Yorkshire has been granted the second largest sum of £15.1 million. The money will be used to connect nearly 400 public sector sites with fibre broadband across 16 towns in North Yorkshire. This will provide the basis for the expansion of fibre connectivity which will add to the extensive digital infrastructure in our area.
Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty said “I was pleased to hear this announcement in the Chancellor’s speech yesterday, which will bring significant benefits to Tadcaster, Selby and the constituency, as well as North Yorkshire as a whole. Increased connectivity plays an important role in supporting the growth and strength of the Northern Powerhouse, and will help bring more diverse and skilled jobs to Selby and Ainsty.”
95% of premises in the UK now have access to superfast broadband, but with only 3% having access to gigabit-capable full fibre infrastructure, the government is committed to further improving access nationwide.
Mr Adams added “With faster connectivity needs set to rise in the coming years, the work of DCMS in increasing access to continuously improving networks is important. Connectivity across the country is vital not only for business and the economy, but also for raising living standards in Britain.”
The full fibre programme is part of a £31 billion National Productivity Investment Fund established by the government to improve productivity and, in turn, living standards. In the government’s Industrial Strategy, there is a focus on ensuring the right connectivity is in place to allow the UK’s digital economy to thrive.