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Pushing case for faster internet in Brighton and Hove
A booming business sector was celebrated in Parliament – as campaigners ramped up the Let Brighton Bid push for ultrafast broadband internet.
Leading figures from Brighton and Hove were invited to the House of Commons yesterday to speak to Government minister Ed Vaizey about how the creative and digital sector locally is growing twice as fast as the national average.
The event, organised by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas, also looked ahead to the city’s bid for improved internet connection which bosses believe will boost the sector even more.
Taken Phil Jones, of Wired Sussex, which works with digital companies across the county, said: “Brighton and Hove’s creative industries and digital sector are a real national success story.
“The city’s ability to attract and retain talent is changing it from one reliant on low wage and seasonal employment to a national leader in entrepreneurship and innovation.
“As a sector, we are also keen that we harness the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the digital sector to benefit the wider business community and the citizenship as a whole.”
About 23,600 jobs in the city are thought to rely on the industry, about 18% of the local economy.
Despite this, Brighton and Hove was prevented from bidding for ultrafast broadband as it did not have more than 150,000 households.
Since The Argus, with the support of the city’s three MPs and representatives, launched the Let Brighton Bid campaign the Government has made a further £50 million available to boost online capacity in smaller cities across the country.
The deadline for the bid is Monday and the city will find out if it has been selected when the results are announced in the Chancellor’s autumn statement – expected in November.
Dr Lucas said: “Brighton and Hove’s pioneering creative and digital businesses are a huge asset to the city and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity today to give the sector the recognition it deserves, with the support of culture minister Ed Vaizey.
Incredible “As well as showcasing the industry’s incredible achievements, the reception was also a chance to celebrate the success of our Let Brighton Bid campaign.
“As the bidding deadline approaches, we now eagerly await the results of the competition in the autumn – and I’m hopeful we’ll see Brighton and Hove secure the funding needed to become superconnected with ultra fast broadband.