A BILLION pound boost to the economy, thousands of local jobs created and better communication for residents – just some of benefits superfast broadband can bring to Cheshire.
Representatives of Cheshire West and Council were joined by partners from across the region at an event at Jodrell Bank as part of Connecting Cheshire, a project which aims to ensure everyone has access to superfast broadband by 2015.
The Connecting Cheshire partnership comprises Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Warrington Borough and Halton Borough Councils.
The partnership has so far received more than £3m in Government funding for the roll-out of superfast broadband but needs up to £40m in order for the project to reach its potential of 100 percent coverage.
Connecting Cheshire hopes to attract further funding from the Government and European grants to ensure full coverage of superfast broadband across the sub-region.
The event was a chance to present interested parties with the reasons behind the project and the importance of superfast broadband to the local economy.
A value and impact study was launched at the event, which predicts that full superfast broadband coverage could result in gross economic and social impact of £1.3 billion and create 11,000 jobs. This would include the creation of 3,000 jobs across rural and semi-rural areas across Cheshire, Warrington and Halton.
Executive member for prosperity, Councillor Herbert Manley, said: “Superfast broadband will transform businesses and communities over the coming years, especially those in rural areas.
“It is important that in tough economic times we support our local businesses and rural residents as much as possible to secure economic and social growth.
“Reliable, high speed broadband is vital to ensure and stimulate our future growth, innovation and productivity; supporting business growth by providing access to new markets.
“This is about connecting communities and improving quality of life through health, education and access to other public services and I would urge all interested parties, whether they want to invest in or support the project – to come forward and get involved.”
Anyone who wants to get involved with Connecting Cheshire can contact the team in a number of ways:
Facebook: Connecting Cheshire