£225,000 is being made available as part of a pilot grant project, developed by a number of partners including the Coastal West Sussex Partnership the fund is to improve connectivity for groups of businesses in West Sussex that are without access to superfast broadband. Business estates or clusters of businesses across West Sussex have until 15 January 2016 to apply to the new Digital Connectivity Grant Programme which will provide up to 40 per cent of the capital costs of getting connected. The funding comes from Coast to Capital’s Local Growth Fund under their ‘Growth is Digital’ priority project.
The new pan-West Sussex scheme will support the installation of a superfast connection for groups of businesses not planned for inclusion in either the commercial or publicly-funded rollouts of broadband infrastructure.
Minister for the Digital Economy, Ed Vaizey, said: “This is fantastic news for businesses in West Sussex. Government is already investing more than £8 million to take superfast broadband to around 50,000 more premises in the county, and this extra funding will help even more local businesses benefit from all that superfast speeds have to offer.”
Ron Crank, Chief Executive, Coast to Capital, added: “I am pleased to see the launch of these grant pilots through our Growth Deal funding. It is essential that all our businesses have the best connectivity and access to the fastest and latest digital technologies.”
To be eligible, groups of businesses must not have current access to superfast broadband services nor be included in the planned delivery of the publicly funded roll out by Better Connected, a partnership of West Sussex County Council, BT and BDUK (the government department responsible for broadband delivery). Rural West Sussex Partnership, South Downs National Park Authority, Gatwick Diamond Initiative and Coastal West Sussex Partnership have developed the programme supported by West Sussex County Council.