Broadband grant scheme connects first 100 businesses

The one hundredth business has benefited from the Superconnected Leeds Bradford broadband grant scheme.

Kiss Graphics of Bradford is upgrading to superfast broadband thanks to a grant of up to £3000.

The programme, launched in February, is funded through the government’s £100m ‘Superconnected Cities’ initiative. It is designed to help small and medium-size enterprises transform the way they do business by improving business efficiency and competitiveness.

Funding of up to £9m is available to SMEs across the Leeds and Bradford metropolitan districts and companies can apply for broadband connection vouchers via a dedicated website: www.superconnectedleedsbradford.co.uk 
The rate of applications is increasing each week and the funding is available on a first come, first served basis. Companies wishing to take advantage of the scheme should visit the website as soon as possible so they can begin the process of getting access to the funding.

The online application process is simple and the grants are technology neutral, which means businesses can opt for either fibre optic, cable or wireless broadband.

Cllr Richard Lewis, executive member for development and the economy, said:

“The grant scheme has been well received by local businesses. To connect our first 100 companies within 12 weeks of launching the programme is great news, and we are among the best performing cities in terms of sign-up.

“Leeds and Bradford are pleased to be working together on the Superconnected Cities initiative with the aim of improving broadband speeds for businesses across the two districts.

“We have some really promising data from the first 100 businesses, who have indicated that they will be able to increase their turnover and employ more staff as a result of being superconnected.”

Owner of Kiss Graphics Jonathan Sunderland said: 

“We work with a lot of packaging companies, transferring large design files, and our old broadband just wasn’t quick enough. It meant we were waiting long periods to download and upload files.

“Our new connection will provide us with a superfast upload speed which means uploading 1 or 2 Gb files in minutes, rather than hours. Additionally it gives us a stable and reliable facility which will give our clients quick and easy access to the files.”

“We wouldn’t have been able to afford to upgrade without grant support but the application process was very easy and straightforward. I’ve already recommended the scheme to other businesses owners that I know.”

Companies can either apply for the grants in their own right or make a group application, for example where they are located within the same building or business park. Landlords and building owners can also apply on behalf of groups of businesses.

In the case of a group application, grants are aggregated so that a group of twenty businesses, for example, could receive funding of up to £60,000 to upgrade broadband infrastructure.

The Superconnected Cities grant scheme is available to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across Leeds and Bradford, until 31 March 2015.

www.superconnectedleedsbradford.co.uk

Written on 23rd July 2014Lillie Geistdorfer. Published in News