Cornish business leaders welcome broadband commitment

Business leaders in Cornwall have welcomed the decision by Cornwall Council to back the third phase of the Superfast Broadband programme. 

The project called Superfast 3, will build on previous and current investments that have so far delivered over 3,500 jobs, 3,850 new businesses and £300m into our local economy.  Superfast 3 will increase access to at least 2,700 additional premises, helping to maintain Cornwall’s enviable position as one of the best connected rural regions in the UK.

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CEO of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, Kim Conchie said, “Cornwall is thriving with its rapidly growing tech sector and is really leading the way with its fantastic access to superfast broadband.”

“Cornwall is thriving with its rapidly growing tech sector and is really leading the way with its fantastic access to superfast broadband. This is transformational for small businesses in these disparate times. We are just a second away from London with our superb connectivity”

The total costs to deliver the project are estimated at £5.835m and Cornwall Council has submitted an outline application for European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) for £4.200m of the project’s costs. This is expected to be the last opportunity to access European funding to deliver broadband infrastructure. 

Bob Egerton, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning, told the meeting: “The Superfast 3 project will help to keep our enviable position as one of the best connected rural regions in the UK, and will leverage in £4.2m of funding in to Cornwall.

“This is expected to be the last chance to access European funding to deliver broadband infrastructure and is an opportunity we must grasp.”

One business which has welcomed the news is the Halzephorn Inn at Gunwalloe, they have suffered with poor broadband speeds for years, but are now using radio technology to deliver a consistent and faster connection.  Claire Murray is the Co-Owner:  “Life was very slow before.  We had one lady who was staying with us who had come down for business and she had to leave and go to another hotel, because we couldn’t offer her the speed she required for her work. If you can’t offer customers the speed that they require they don’t hang around long.”

Investing in digital infrastructure has been a strategic priority for Cornwall for more than a decade. Since 2010, Cornwall Council has overseen delivery of over £150m of investment in Superfast Broadband, including nearly £60m of EU funding.