Broadband boost of 40 million pounds for Scottish businesses
Small businesses across four more Scottish cities will now be able to be able to apply for a share of 40 million pounds of UK government funding to connect them to faster, better quality broadband, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced on a visit to Glasgow.
From 1 April, small businesses, charities, social enterprises and sole traders across Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Dundee will be able to benefit from the scheme, which is already running in Edinburgh, Perth and Aberdeen, as well as 19 other cities across the UK.
Small businesses, charities, social enterprises and sole traders in these cities will be able to apply for grants of up to 3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband. This will make it easier for them communicate with their customers, and attract new jobs and investment, as part of the government's ambition to make the UK the best place in Europe to do business.
The government has also announced today that the rural superfast broadband scheme has now successfully passed 220,000 Scottish homes and businesses. The programme will see superfast services available to 95% of premises by 2017.
Speaking in Glasgow, Danny Alexander, The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said: "For many businesses across Scotland and the UK, high speed broadband isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. And today I can announce that I have extended the broadband connection vouchers programme – which provides grants to small businesses needing to upgrade their broadband – to four more cities across Scotland.
"Businesses in Glasgow, Inverness, Stirling and Dundee will benefit from faster connections, downloads and uploads, meaning that they can communicate better with customers across the world.
"It is extremely frustrating that some small businesses in cities can't get the broadband connection they need – these vouchers will help them to change that.
"Having grown up on a remote island, I know what a huge difference being connected makes to our rural communities.
"That's why I'm also proud to say that the UK government's rural broadband programme has now passed 220,000 premises across rural Scotland. For the first time, people in these areas will be able to sign up for superfast broadband, and experience the benefits of being able to stay in touch, do deals and communicate more effectively than ever before across Scotland." ■