EU funding available to invest in digital infrastructure
Following significant investment through the 2007-2013 Convergence Programme, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly currently benefits from one of the best rural networks in the world, however there are some areas that remain outside of the fibre optic coverage.
Up to £9m of European Regional Development Funds has therefore been made available to build on this previous investment and further extend the coverage of superfast broadband in Cornwall & Isles of Scilly. The funding has been allocated to the region as part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, which seeks to regenerate the local economy. Running from 2014 – 2020 this Programme of European funding builds on the previous Objective One and Convergence Programmes.
Proposals are sought that will extend coverage of superfast capable of delivering speeds of more than 30Mbps) and ultrafast (capable of delivering speeds of more than 100 Mbps) broadband networks.
Councillor Julian German, member of the Integrated Territorial Investment (ITI) Board which is responsible for overseeing the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, said: ‘Increasing the coverage of superfast broadband is critical in areas where the market is failing, particularly where this is creating a barrier to Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) growth. Competitive digital infrastructure can help to address issues around peripherality and distance to markets, and support the growth, sustainability and innovation of our businesses.’
Full detail about this funding opportunity and the application process can be found at https://www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds?keywords=&location%5B%5D=south-west
Further information about the European Regional Development Fund can be found at http://www.erdfconvergence.org.uk/growth-programme/erdf
The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme is part of the England Growth Programme, which will run from 2014-2020. Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the only area in England to qualify as a ‘Less Developed’ region and has an allocation of €603.7million which is split as follows:
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) €438 million
European Social Fund (ESF) €166 million
The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) has an allocation of £10 million in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, aligned with the wider England Growth Programme.
Media Relations Officer for the Convergence support team
Economic Development and Culture
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Wednesday 9 December 2015