North Somerset to gain from broadband success

NORTH Somerset’s economy is set to receive a big boost after a bid by the council to gain Government funding was successful.

With the triumph of the bid, North Somerset Council is now set to share part of the �30million funding, with the authority expecting that 9,000 homes across the region will directly benefit as a result.

Small businesses are being tipped to gain from the success of the joint bid with Somerset and Devon County Councils, with a �750million boost to the economies of those regions predicted.

After the Government approved the joint bid, one plan that is expected to go ahead is a superfast broadband network from Plymouth to Portishead, which would benefit 836,000 businesses and residents.

The council also plans to have broadband access for 85 per cent of premises in the region by 2015, and 100 per cent by 2020.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economic development, said: “This is a major success for the whole bid area and it is great that North Somerset will benefit from the Government funding as well.

“More than 30 per cent of North Somerset businesses are based from home, so this will be a major help for small businesses to become more competitive and grow. “This will also reach across thousands of North Somerset businesses and homes improving access to services and providing improved internet access.”