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Superfast broadband boost for Crewe businesses
BUSINESS in Crewe and the surrounding area could be set for a boost after £1.5million was set aside to install superfast broadband.
More than 900 small and medium-sized businesses across Cheshire and Warrington are set to benefit from the investment from the European Regional Development Fund and Connecting Cheshire to help them benefit from digital technology enabled by faster broadband.
The new Connecting Cheshire Superfast Business service will be delivered by Peninsula Enterprise and Groundwork Cheshire to help eligible businesses learn about and exploit the opportunities brought about by digital technology and fibre-optic broadband.
The service will work with small-to-medium-sized businesses, which are already benefiting from good connection speeds or where superfast broadband will be installed.
By helping businesses grow and increase their productivity, Superfast Business told the Guardian it hopes to create about 478 jobs across Cheshire in the next two years and boost the economy by almost £19.5m.
Connecting Cheshire recently signed a £28.5m contract with BT to extend access to high-speed fibre optic broadband to 96 per cent of all premises by 2016.
Clr Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “Superfast Business is a great way for firms to understand and benefit from broadband technology.
“It will complement our major investment of public funds to extend faster broadband infrastructure to most areas and bring real benefit to businesses and economic growth to Cheshire.”
Sir Howard Bernstein, vice chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund local management committee, added: “This programme will help local businesses make the most of superfast broadband, improving performance and helping to create and safeguard jobs.
“It will provide a major boost to the Cheshire economy and the North West European Regional Development Fund programme is pleased to be supporting it financially.”
Ian Gent, director at Peninsula Enterprise, said: “We are excited to have the opportunity to deliver a high-quality superfast broadband business support service in Cheshire.”
Greville Kelly, director at Groundwork Cheshire, said: “Superfast broadband is about much more than speeding up your email or web browsing. It can transform all the ways that you do business.
“Superfast connections offer a more reliable and consistent service – which is a crucial issue for rural businesses – whilst opening up new markets and boosting productivity.
“We are urging ambitious businesses with strong growth potential to visit our new website and find out more about the service – it has the potential to revolutionise the way they operate.”
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