Posted on March 15, 2018 by staff

Hill Dickinson advises GMCA on £23.8m full fibre funding win


International law firm Hill Dickinson advised on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s successful bid to fund the roll out of full-fibre connectivity in the region.

The GMCA was granted £23.8 million by the Government in the Chancellor’s spring statement, the largest grant of the 13 successful regions and a quarter of the total funding allocated.

The award revealed the result of the Government Local Full Fibre Network Wave 2 Funding round – drawn from a £190m Challenge Fund launched in the Autumn Budget 2017, designed to roll out full fibre connectivity to local areas.

“This funding award is a fantastic outcome for the GMCA and the wider Manchester business community,” said Tracey Sheehan, partner at Hill Dickinson.

“Increasing full fibre connectivity will offer unlimited broadband speeds and pave the way for the roll out of 5G mobile data across Greater Manchester.

“This development also provides essential support for the city’s thriving digital sector.

“Hill Dickinson was privileged to advise on this successful local bid and is committed to providing the highest quality legal advice in telecoms and procurement.”

The spring statement apportioned the first wave of funding, allocating over £95m to 13 areas across the UK.

The grant will see more than 1,500 public sector premises across the health, education and local government sectors in Manchester connected to the new high-speed data technology.

This will drive further market investment in high speed connectivity in the city, increasing current fibre coverage from two per cent to 25 per cent to these premises by 2020 across Greater Manchester and creating the foundation for the roll out of the next generation 5G data.

Hill Dickinson Partners Tracey Sheehan and Mark Fitzgibbon, Head of Commercial and IP, worked in close collaboration with FarrPoint’s Dr Andrew Muir, Neil Watt and Jean-Donan Olliero, along with Cube Ultra’s Robin Bosworth and with GMCA’s own internal procurement, commercial and economic teams on the successful bid for funding from the LFFN Challenge Fund.

The complex project involved mapping work to assess the business case, advice on state aid and procurement provisions, and importantly, drawing on the firm’s telecoms expertise.