A digital exchange will boost the creative sector with ultrafast broadband connectivity.

Some £620,000 of unallocated funding will pay to set up the Brighton Digital Exchange at the creative hub of New England House.

The “uniquely Brighton” solution will give companies in the creative, digital and IT hub rapidly improved connectivity, support innovation and develop new products and services.

The money has come from the Super Connected Cities Programme and would have gone back to government if unspent.

Phil Jones, managing director of Wired Sussex, said: “It’s an innovative solution – it will be the UK’s first – and it is made possible by businesses cooperating and collaborating.

“Six of the smaller broadband suppliers together with Wired Sussex are jointly kickstarting the exchange.

“By creating a place with the right equipment which enables us to work together to develop and deliver new services, broadband provision to business users should rapidly improve, first in the New England Quarter and then across the rest of the city. “Together with the council’s voucher scheme and city centre WiFi plans, the Digital Exchange heralds real movement in finding ways to meet the city’s broadband needs.”

The proposal was agreed by the economic and culture committee at Brighton and Hove City Council.

It is part of the Greater Brighton City Deal, a blueprint for growth which could see £170 million worth of government investment poured into the digital sector.

Public funding is required to cover initial construction costs but it would become financially sustainable.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, chairman of the committee, said: “This will provide businesses with a cutting edge internet connection and enable digital companies to grow even faster with cost-effective broadband.”

A separate £1.5 million pot of money is also available to businesses in the wider city looking to upgrade their broadband.

Eligible companies can receive up to £3,000 in vouchers to pay for installation.

OptaNet, based in Brighton, has been approved by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to install connections.

Managing Director David Elliott said: “This is a huge opportunity for businesses. There is a small window of opportunity for SMEs to take a giant leap forward in their internet connection.

“If you’re a landlord or tenant sharing a commercial building you can also pool your vouchers to pay for a new faster shared connection.

“This means commercial landlords have also benefited as their properties are connected up to modern fibre optic broadband.