Internet Windfall for Wakefield Businesses as Superconnected Scheme Expanded

12 February 2015

Around 8,000 small businesses in Wakefield have become eligible for a grant of up to £3,000 to help them boost their internet connectivity, after the extension of the government-funded Superconnected Cities scheme to include the whole of West Yorkshire.

The Superconnected Cities scheme, which awards ‘connection voucher’ grants of up to £3,000 to individual businesses to cover the costs of installing high speed broadband, is part of a nationwide programme to boost high-speed internet connectivity among SMEs.

Previously available to businesses within the Leeds and Bradford districts, and delivered by Leeds City Council, the expanded scheme will make the grant funding accessible to 27,365 additional businesses across the Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield districts with immediate effect.

Martin Hathaway, chief executive of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, which covers the Metropolitan Authority Areas of Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield, said:

“This is a huge boost to businesses in our chamber area, and means this transformational technology grant is now available to SMEs right across West Yorkshire." 

“Superfast broadband is a business critical resource for many companies, and these vouchers take just minutes to apply for and don’t require any match funding.”

Leeds and Bradford have seen the UK’s highest take up rates for the vouchers and last month became the first area outside London to issue more than 1,000 connection grants since the Superconnected Cities programme was launched in February 2014.

Mark Durham of Superconnected Leeds Bradford, which administers the grants to eligible firms, welcomed the broadening of the scheme, saying:

“We have worked hard to ensure as many Yorkshire businesses as possible get access to this funding before it closes in March next year."

“Over 99 per cent of businesses across West Yorkshire are now eligible for a grant, so we hope to see a flurry of applications and many new connections to the superfast network. Great high-speed web connectivity is one of the easiest and most effective ways to transform the efficiency of a business and broaden its capabilities.”

Cllr Denise Jeffery, Wakefield council’s cabinet member for economic growth and skills, said:

“We welcome this great news which will provide superfast broadband for businesses based in Wakefield. Every day the number of existing and new services delivered to us online is growing to meet our daily needs and expansions to this service will provide faster internet connections.”

She added:

“I encourage local businesses to make good use of this opportunity and apply for these new connection vouchers.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the scheme’s expansion into Wakefield then please contact John Duncan, Business Development Officer, Super Connected Cities T: 0113 2477820  E:  M: 07891 278868