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Business leaders hail broadband boost for north Norfolk

10:43 08 August 2014

People signing up to the Better Broadband for Norfolk Campaign in 2012. Photo : Steve Adams

People signing up to the Better Broadband for Norfolk Campaign in 2012. Photo : Steve Adams

Archant

Businesses, holidaymakers and homeowners across north Norfolk will benefit from superfast broadband thanks to a £2m windfall.

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North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick.  Picture: Matthew Usher.North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick. Picture: Matthew Usher.

North Norfolk District Council will receive £1m from the Norfolk County Council and BT-led Better Broadband for Norfolk project to spend on improving speeds in the area between the end of 2015 and 2017.

It will match fund the £1m and the move has been welcomed by business leaders.

Tracey Khalil, chairman of the Cromer and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said: “It cannot come soon enough. Faster and quicker broadband is the key to a lot of business.”

She added better broadband would also help tourist attractions and holidaymakers.

Nicholas Lee, chairman of North Walsham for Business group.Nicholas Lee, chairman of North Walsham for Business group.

Nicholas Lee, chairman of the North Walsham for Business group and owner of Broadland Travel in the town, said: “Any kind of boost is going to be welcome. Hopefully the council will take note of the broadband blackspots. Better broadband will improve employment prospects in the area and assist businesses to grow.”

He added some areas had less than two or oneMbps (megabits per second).

The Better Broadband for Norfolk project is aiming for homes and businesses to access 24Mbps.

A £41m deal between the telecoms firm and the council, was signed in 2012 following an EDP-backed campaign.

That deal was to allow 83pc of properties to access superfast broadband by the end of 2015.

The second tranche of cash for the project, £9.5m, is to be spent in Norfolk from 2015-17 to allow 95pc of properties to access better broadband. The £1m for north Norfolk came out of this pot.

Some of the cash has come from central government, county council and New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk.

North Norfolk District Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said: “It is really important we are not left behind. It was too good a chance to miss and we would not be forgiven if we missed out.”

What do you think about Norfolk broadband? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk.

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