Buy buy as fast as you can from the Superfast Grasmere Gingerbread Man

Iconic shop becomes 20,000th Connecting Cumbria customer

DC15-546                                                                                                    20 November 2015

Buy, buy as fast as you can from the Superfast Grasmere Gingerbread Man

Iconic shop becomes 20,000th Connecting Cumbria customer

The globally famous Grasmere Gingerbread Shop has marked a major milestone for the Connecting Cumbria partnership by becoming its 20,000 fibre broadband customer.

Broadband speeds at the iconic shop in the heart of the Lake District rocketed from 3.8 megabits per second [Mbps] to 75 Mbps when superfast Connecting Cumbria came to the village.Owners Andrew and Joanne Hunter are so pleased with the change in their business prospects that they have pledged to create a Superfast Christmas Special gingerbread in time for the yuletide rush.

Two is the magic number as not only are Andrew and Joanne Connecting Cumbria’s 20,000th customer, it is also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sarah Nelson, the originator of the gingerbread recipe, and across the county more than 200,000 households and businesses can now access high speed fibre broadband.

Connections in Grasmere have been growing fast since the first high speed lines reached the village in July.Now around 500 homes and businesses in the picturesque Lake District village can join the digital revolution that has transformed home entertainment and business systems.

The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop* is keen to use fibre broadband introduce free wi-fi for its customers.They will be able to upload and send smartphone and camera photos of friends and family, posing in front of the shop, around the world.

Joanne said: “We are looking forward to our customers enjoying the benefits of superfast internet access at the shop so they can post photos and comments around the world instantaneously.

“Our customers can rapidly find us online and the speed of our financial systems has improved beyond recognition. This year we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sarah Nelson who first made our gingerbread and we have now just been transported into the next, superfast century.”

Her husband, Andrew, is the only person to have access to the secret gingerbread recipe, which is stored in a Cumbrian bank vault.

New interactive online maps can be viewed at www.connectingcumbria.org.uk which show when and where the fibre rollout is expected to arrive.

Upgrading to high-speed fibre is not automatic when the new network goes ‘live’.Local households and businesses wishing to upgrade need to place an order with an internet service provider of their choice. More than 140 providers are currently offering fibre broadband in the UK.

BT has also made another £2.5 million available to the Connecting Cumbria partnership, which will allow the rollout of fibre broadband to go even further, because take up of the high-speed technology by local householders and businesses is higher than expected.

David Southward, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for economic development, said: “The value of fast broadband connections to businesses and homes in Cumbria cannot be overstated.Tourism, the food retail industries and many other small businesses need quick and reliable connections so that instead of having to search endlessly for customers, the customers find them.Connecting Cumbria has reached Grasmere now but we will continue to go further to benefit as many people in the county as possible.”

Mike Blackburn, BT’s regional director in the North West, said:“High-speed broadband is a real must for businesses and homes in tourist hot spots like Grasmere in the Lake District. Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have done a great job to give around 500 houses and firms in this picturesque part of Cumbria access to this technology that transforms financial and business systems as well as home entertainment and learning. Very importantly, it also creates more connected communities.”


*The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop website is at:https://www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk/

Press contact:Please contact Graham Taylor at the BT Regional Press Office on 0800 085 0660 or 07435 669479. All our news releases can be found at www.btplc.com/news

Notes to Editors:

About Connecting Cumbria

The Connecting Cumbria Programme’s ambition will, by a combination of commercial investment and gap funding, enable access to Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband to 93% of Cumbrian homes and businesses by the end of 2015 when added to the commercial rollout.And Connecting Cumbria is providing two thirds of its rollout with speeds of more than 50 mbps.There is, in addition, a commitment that all Cumbrian properties will have access to speeds of at least 2Mbps by some means by the end of the programme. This includes working with some of Cumbria’s remotest communities to extend the fibre network through innovative community projects in the hardest to reach areas.

Connecting Cumbria will ensure maximum coverage is achieved from available resources, demonstrating maximum value for money. Cumbria County Council has a continuing commitment to expand NGA broadband services and make NGA broadband service available to additional areas across Cumbria as funding becomes available.

About ERDF

The project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the ERDF Programme, which is one of the funds established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/erdf-programmes-progress-and-achievements

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race. The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

  • £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
  • £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
  • £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services
  • Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

    For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world.It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com.