A step closer to superfast broadband for county

Council leaders have approved a financial plan which paves the way to unlock a £7.39 million Government boost for improved broadband in Derbyshire.

Bringing superfast broadband and its economic benefits to Derbyshire is one of Derbyshire County Council’s priorities.

The Government’s £7.39 million Broadband Development UK allocation would have been lost if the same amount in match funding had not been found.

This week, members of the county council’s cabinet agreed to underwrite the match funding from the authority’s reserves to meet the Government’s end of February application deadline.

The county council is already working to gain funding from other sources towards the amount it has under-written and doesn’t expect to spend the full amount.

Cllr Kevin Parkinson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “This is great news for Derbyshire. Without underwriting the bid we would have lost the fantastic opportunity which the Government’s £7.39 million brings to improve broadband across the county.

“We’re committed to boosting Derbyshire’s economic growth by improving broadband access for communities.

“Having superfast broadband widely available will benefit residents and businesses and set Derbyshire apart as a prime location for investment.”

The county council had already approved a one-off contribution of £1.056 million at an earlier meeting. But at the meeting earlier this week, the cabinet agreed to underwrite the shortfall of £6.334 million to allow it to match the Government’s promise of £7.39 million which otherwise would be lost to the county.