Broadband boost to benefit economy by £30m, says Labour

Coun Barry Collins
Coun Barry Collins

Businesses have been given a boost after BT announced a combined investment of £21.96 million to provide high-speed fibre broadband to almost every corner of Calderdale.

Calderdale Council has put over £700,000 into the Superfast West Yorkshire project - a joint initiative between the authorities of Calderdale, Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield - and has been allocated the largest share of investment, with the total possibly topping £5 million.

The news has been welcomed by Calderdale Labour Group, which said that Calderdale Council wanted 93 per cent of premises to have access to superfast broadband (exceeding 24 Mbps) and deliver at least two Mbps to every business and household by 2015/16.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Environment Coun Barry Collins said: “This massive investment will put Calderdale well and truly on the digital map, providing more jobs locally and enabling greater business innovation. Developing such critical infrastructure, will promote a stronger, more competitive Calderdale economy and give our small businesses and start-ups the means to compete, grow, and reach their true potential.

“Over 2,500 Calderdale businesses stand to benefit, with research indicating the generation of around 420 additional direct jobs and an increase of over £30 million in the value of goods and services we produce over the next 12 years .”

Coun Collins said the installation schedule would be announced in the coming months, but residents could expect improved access to online services and better connectivity for their businesses from 2014. He said the Labour Group would like to encourage residents and businesses who suffer from poor or limited broadband connections to register their interest in the high-speed fibre broadband at www.superfastwestyorkshire.co.uk.