Friday, 23 March 2012
Leeds and Bradford to get superfast broadband
So the announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that ultra fast broadband and wi-fi is to be funded in Leeds, Bradford, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Newcastle is to be welcomed.
Leeds and Bradford submitted a joint bid for funding through the Urban Broadband Fund as part of the Leeds City Region Partnership's plans to support economic growth and job creation.
The announcement includes government funding for the two cities of up to £15m to support projects which include rolling-out ultra-fast broadband access to more than 16,000 businesses, and to develop full wireless coverage within both city centres and along key transport corridors into and between both cities.
Leeds City Council leader councillor Keith Wakefield, said: "I am very pleased that we have been successful in our joint bid to become one of the first super connected cities. This funding will enable us to accelerate the transformation of our cities, putting in place digital connections amongst the best in Europe.
"This will be a major attraction to business and will help in attracting further investment to both cities to support our economic growth ambitions."
These sentiments very much echo our own. Leeds is already a significant IT and e-commerce area and has a growing number of businesses with special expertise in the video games and animations sectors. Making central government funding available for next-generation broadband can only enhance the city’s offer, and will attract more IT companies to the city.