Small and medium-sized businesses across 10 UK cities are being offered a share of a huge cash pot to help with the cost of high-speed internet – including those in Manchester and Salford.
Businesses in Manchester, Salford, Belfast, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newport and London are all eligible to apply for a grant of up to £3,000 as part of the first phase of the broadband connection voucher scheme, that is offering a share of £100million to SMEs.
Through the scheme vouchers are provided to meet the costs of installing a fast internet connection directly into business premises. Companies employing less than 250 people, sole-traders and self-employed home workers who do not already have a fast connection could all be eligible for the grant.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Up to £3,000 of broadband vouchers for small business in these cities is not only a massive boost for growth in the UK, but also has the potential to bring China to Cardiff, Brazil to Bristol and the Emirates to Edinburgh in an increased export market.
“As part of our economic plan, I want to give our small businesses every possible advantage to compete in the global race – and also the flexibility to locate or set up right across the UK. To do that we are working on a complete overhaul of the UK’s infrastructure; high speed broadband is a vital part of this.”
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council’s lead member for Digital Manchester, added: “This grant funding will help businesses across Manchester to upgrade their existing internet connection, enabling them to use the most up-to-date IT services to work faster and more efficiently.”