Chris Glen (Federation of Small Business), Tom Bridges (Leeds City Council), Cllr David Green (Leade
Clare Burnett

Member Article

£3k broadband vouchers available to Bradford and Leeds SME’s through £10 million government scheme

Connection vouchers worth up to £3,000 are now available to small and medium-size businesses across Bradford and Leeds to cover the cost of upgrading to superfast broadband.

Funded through the Government’s ‘Superconnected Cities’ programme, the programme is being delivered locally by Leeds City Council and Bradford Metropolitan District Council and is part of a national programme, designed to deliver a step change in broadband connection speeds and reliability.

The programme covers 22 cities, with Leeds and Bradford securing a £10 million share – the largest outside London – of the total £100 million funding available for the programme.

Businesses can apply online for a connection voucher via a dedicated website. The vouchers cover the installation cost up to a maximum of £3,000 with on-going monthly costs being paid for by the business.

The programme isn’t linked to any particular technology – wireless, fibre, cable, mobile and other types of connection are all covered by the programme.

Provided the the business is an SME based in Leeds or Bradford, they should be eligible for a connection voucher.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development and the economy, said: “The average UK business will need 10 times their current bandwidth within the next five years.

“This means that high speed broadband is becoming an absolute necessity for businesses.

“Support for SME businesses in our two cities is welcome and will help significantly improve productivity and competitiveness, in turn helping to grow the local economy.”

Mark Goldstone of Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said the latest Chamber research showed 92% of companies see broadband as critical to their business: “Broadband is now considered by many to be as vital as electricity and running water and access to a high quality service is one of the key factors when companies look to expand or locate.

“Technologies such as cloud computing, for example, allow for more efficient use of resources to store and access data, freeing up capital which otherwise would have been invested in expensive server hardware and associated costs.”

Simon Barrett of Bradford-based games development firm Four Door Lemon, said: “High speed internet is vital to our business. In a digital industry, deliveries to our customers – be it gamers or other businesses – are completely dependent on the speed of our connection to deliver updates.

“With quicker connections we can iterate faster when making improvements and adjustments to our products and therefore increase our productivity and profit.

“This scheme is a very welcome benefit to companies in Leeds and Bradford and will help us be more competitive in the global market we operate in.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Clare Burnett.

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