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Brighton and Hove wins ultrafast broadband funding bid
Brighton and Hove is to become “super-connected” after its bid for ultrafast broadband was successful.
Following a high-profile campaign, Chancellor George Osborne has announced the city will receive the funding as part of a £50 million scheme.
The news, which was confirmed in his autumn statement to Parliament, will be heralded locally as business leaders think it is vital if the city is to remain competitive in digital innovation.
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, who led the successful campaign to ‘Let Brighton Bid’ which resulted in the government’s original scheme being extended to include smaller cities, described it as a "huge win for the city".
She added: “Becoming a super-connected city is vital if Brighton and Hove is to stay competitive and remain at the forefront of the technology revolution – and I’m absolutely delighted that the campaign, which has been strongly supported by Wired Sussex, Coast2Capital LEP and local business leaders, has been so successful in securing our fair share of this funding.
“I’m also delighted that the other local MPs were able to give their support to the city’s bid for ultra-fast broadband, and that The Argus played such a key role in raising the profile of this important campaign.
“I now look forward to working with local digital and creative leaders and Brighton and Hove City Council to take this exciting initiative forward and make sure our city leads from the front in digital innovation.”
More than 99 per cent of Brighton and Hove is already covered by superfast broadband.
But ultrafast broadband provides a minimum download speed of at least 80 megabits per second - more than three times faster than ‘superfast’ broadband.
The successful bid means 96 per cent of dwellings being potentially able to tap in to "super-connection.
The money will be provided through the Super Connected Cities fund, which the Chancellor extended to so called ‘smaller cities’ earlier this year.
Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said, “This is fantastic news for the digital sector in Brighton and will help support jobs and growth in other industries across the city.
"The announcement is the culmination of months of hard work lobbying the Chancellor, during which time I held discussions with him about the need to expand the Super Connected Cities fund beyond the original ten largest cities in the UK.
"I was very grateful to the Chancellor for responding to my lobbying efforts so positively, and I knew that Brighton would make an excellent bid for funding once it was permitted.
"It is very pleasing to see that promise fulfilled today, and I know that this news will be welcomed across Brighton and Hove.”
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