Business leaders in the Duchy 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 which, the council says, have so far delivered more than 3,500 jobs, 3,850 new businesses and £300m into the local economy.
Superfast 3 will increase access to at least 2,700 additional premises, helping to maintain Cornwall’s position as one of the best-connected rural regions in the UK.
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. 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 for £4.200m of the project’s costs. This is expected to be the last opportunity to access European funding to deliver broadband infrastructure.
Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Culture, Economy and Planning Bob Egerton said: “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.”
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.