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15 Nov

Government Announces Support for Flood-Hit Farmers

Flood-hit farmers in northern England will be able to apply for up to £25,000 in govt grants to help them get back on their feet. The government has announced they will extend the Farming Recovery Fund to support farmers badly affected by the floods.

14 Nov

Business Brexit Checklist

The Business Brexit Checklist has been created to help you consider the changes that Brexit may bring to your company, and to help business planning at both operational and Board levels.

13 Nov

Invitation to Tender: ScaleUp360 Programme Workshops and Business Advice

A procurement opportunity has arisen for a bank of high growth business support specialists to supply 1-2-1 business advice and workshops to businesses and entrepreneurs in the Sheffield City Region (SCR).

Businesses urged to claim £2500 voucher for broadband boost

Businesses around the UK are being urged to make use of a £2500 voucher for gigabit broadband speeds before the scheme closes due to high demand.

The Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme has already helped more than 7,000 UK businesses and surrounding homes, who have used the vouchers to contribute to (and in many cases fully fund) the installation cost of a full fibre gigabit capable connection.

The £67 million scheme was initially expected to run until March 2021, but high demand for vouchers means that funds are now expected to be committed a year earlier, and perhaps even sooner if the current success of the scheme continues to grow. To date, demand for the scheme has been strongest in the South West, followed by the South East, Yorkshire and the North West.

Minister for Digital Margot James said: “Our modern Industrial Strategy is clear on the importance of connectivity, as we build a full fibre Britain that is fit for the future. These vouchers provide practical and immediate help to firms struggling with slow broadband speeds.I encourage small businesses around the UK to apply now. ”

To ensure as many businesses and homes benefit, the maximum value of the voucher will be reduced from the current £3000 to £2500 in a move that will encourage neighbouring businesses to “pool” their vouchers.

This will enable the scheme to reach more properties without the need for any additional funding. We expect more than 1000 additional businesses and homes to benefit as a result of this change.

DCMS will be carefully monitoring take-up following this change to the scheme rules to determine whether there are locations in which a higher voucher value would be justified.

The scheme is part of a series of Government initiatives to build a Britain with nationwide full fibre broadband coverage by 2033, making sure no communities are left behind. In addition to the voucher scheme, the Chancellor recently announced £200 million for an ‘outside-in’ approach that will see full fibre broadband rolled out in the hardest to reach rural locations at the same pace as the rest of the country. The Borderlands, Cornwall, and Welsh valleys will be amongst the first areas to be targeted.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “Access to good broadband is vital for small businesses across the UK, and with the clock ticking on this scheme, it’s important small businesses don’t delay if they want to apply for funding.”

More information on the Gigabit Voucher Scheme, including details on how businesses can apply can be found at https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/


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