Cardiff businesses offered grants of up to £3,000 for super-fast internet
Businesses in Cardiff were today urged to take advantage of the government’s ‘Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme’ to help reduce the cost of super-fast internet connections. The Broadband Delivery UK initiative provides city councils with additional budget to offer small and medium companies grants of up to £3,000 towards connection and construction charges* for a range of services from suppliers including BT Business.
Cardiff is one of 12 UK cities where the scheme is already available. The others are: Belfast, Bristol, Coventry, Edinburgh, Derby, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Newport, Portsmouth and Salford.
A further ten cities are planning to join the scheme by the end of March: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Derry/Londonderry, Leeds, Oxford, Perth and York.
Once a business has checked they are eligible via their local city council, and understood the full terms and conditions of the programme, they will need to complete an application form. They will then receive a provisional offer regarding the amount of funding they can expect, following an assessment by the city council, and be asked to get quotes from two providers.
Councillor Russell Goodway, cabinet member for finance and economic development at Cardiff Council, said: “The internet gives businesses the opportunity to access global markets, to sell what is produced here in Wales to the world.
“Cardiff is already home to a higher percentage of fast-growing firms – or ‘gazelles’ as you might call them – than any other city in the UK. Without super-fast broadband many of these companies would not be here.
“Cardiff is already one of the most digitally connected cities in Britain, with a higher percentage of our households able to access super-fast broadband than any of the other major core city in the UK. This £10m investment will build on this position of strength, forming a core part of our ambitions to rebuild momentum in the city economy over the coming years.”
Ann Beynon, BT director for Wales, said: “This exciting scheme is a vital step forward for small and medium firms in Cardiff. It will allow even more businesses to take advantage of the huge benefits offered by super-fast internet connections.
“Businesses can use the technology to boost their competitiveness, work more efficiently, attract new customers or strengthen relationships with existing customers. Every Cardiff firm that switches to faster broadband is good news for the city.”
In order to qualify, businesses must be a small or medium sized enterprise (SME) as defined by the European Commission: employ between 1 and 249 persons, with an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million**.
For further details about the scheme and how BT Business can help, please visit www.bt.com/BDUKvoucher
Notes to editors
* The grant is for between £250 and £3,000. The voucher cannot be put towards monthly rentals. Businesses pay the VAT, any amount over £3,000 and the monthly subscription cost. Terms and conditions apply.
**The business property must be located within the participating City Council local authority area. The address must be the registered office or trading address of the SME business (if they work from a residential property as their main business base they can still apply). Registered charities, social enterprises and sole traders that meet the SME criteria below are welcome to apply. Terms and conditions apply.