£11m Broadband boost for business

Broadbandweb 180811

A MASSIVE £11m Government investment in Lancashire’s broadband network is set to boost businesses and rural areas, an MP says.

Mark Menzies, Member of Parliament for Fylde, says the huge sum will be a major help for businesses in Fylde who regularly struggle with low broadband speeds.

Business parks and others had complained to the MP that slow speeds had made investors think twice about setting up shop in the area.

Homeowners, particularly in rural areas of Fylde and Preston have also complained of low speeds and should soon benefit from network upgrades.

Mr Menzies said: “This is wonderful news for Lancashire and Fylde.

“Slow broadband speeds have been a recurring issue in my correspondence and meetings with people and businesses from Fylde and I am sure the people who have expressed their concerns will be delighted.

“It Is clear that the Government have recognised the issues highlighted by myself, my colleagues and local authorities throughout the area.

“Lancashire County Council, who led the project with support from Blackburn-with-Darwen and Blackpool Council’s deserve great credit for leading this project.

“We now need to ensure the private sector capitalises on this investment by investing themselves and creating a world class broadband network throughout the county.”

It is hoped the scheme will create a countywide super-fast broadband network by 2014 to help economic recovery and growth.

It must now be match-funded through European or private investment.

The councils believe it will help attract investment in the area from big business.

The decision comes just a day after it was revealed that Lancashire’s bid for an economy-boosting Enterprise Zone – based around BAE Warton and Samlesbury sites – had been unsuccessful.

Despite being disappointed by the decision Mr Menzies has now pledged to renew his efforts to persuade the Government to provide further support for business in Lancashire.

“There was disappointment, of course, when the bid was unsuccessful,” he said.

“I have now arranged a meeting with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as soon as Parliament returns to discuss what more can be done to help workers and businesses in Fylde.”

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