Harrogate district broadband connection voucher scheme launched

Small to medium sized businesses, sole traders, social enterprises and registered charities in the Harrogate district can now benefit from a grant of up to £3,000 to cover the cost of upgrading to better quality, high speed broadband.

It is estimated that the average UK business will need 10 times their current bandwidth within the next five years. This means that high speed broadband is becoming an absolute necessity for businesses.

The broadband connection voucher scheme, which is funded through the Government’s ‘Super Connected Cities’ programme, assists organisations to meet the upfront capital costs of a faster, better and more stable broadband connection to their premises – allowing them to offer customers improved service, increased reliability, and transforming the way they do business.

The vouchers will cover the installation cost of the broadband connection from £100 up to a maximum of £3,000. It is also possible to receive a larger overall grant if applicants apply as a group and combine the overall value of their vouchers to improve a connection to a shared building, street or business park.

Businesses interested in taking advantage of the scheme can check their eligibility and apply on line via www.connectionvouchers.co.uk. Applications will be considered on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis and must be made before 31 March 2016.

Successful applicants can then choose an ‘off the shelf’ package from a number of suppliers in the region who are supporting the scheme, or get their own quote from a broadband supplier.

Coun Richard Cooper, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said: “The broadband connection voucher scheme is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to upgrade their broadband and future proof themselves for the digital challenges of tomorrow.

“Faster, better broadband is essential for business success and can benefit organisations in a number of ways. It can help businesses to grow and access new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers; security can be enhanced through fast back-up of data; productivity can be increased and customer service improved through faster upload and download speeds.

“It can have a positive impact on customer confidence, help businesses save money and also drive growth – not just for individual businesses, but across the Harrogate district. Harrogate Borough Council are proud to be involved in this worthwhile scheme and I look forward to seeing how it can help to boost the district’s burgeoning economy.”

For more information or to have your questions answered, please email business@harrogate.gov.uk or call 01423 556546.

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