Businesses in Liverpool City Region will now be able to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to boost their broadband.
It is part of the Government’s broadband connection voucher scheme, which is to be extended for a further year.
More than 12,000 vouchers have already been issued to businesses in cities around the UK, including Liverpool. From 1 April this year, businesses in Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral will also be eligible to apply.
Each voucher covers up to £3,000 of installation costs – but businesses can also apply as a group to connect bigger or more complicated premises. Once installed, businesses pay the line rental and VAT.
Councillor Gary Millar, Liverpool’s Cabinet member for business, enterprise and investment, said: “We want Liverpool to be the best digitally connected city in the UK and it is great news that the scheme is now being extended to the wider city region.
“We have a long road ahead to achieve this but the expansion of this scheme is a major leap in taking the city’s economy to the next level. We are competing on a global stage and investment in our digital infrastructure is a real priority for the city.”
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is fantastic news for Liverpool City Region as we know how important a fast broadband connection is for businesses across the UK.
“We want to make sure that small businesses have the technology they need to compete in the digital age.
“This scheme will help tens of thousands of small businesses around the UK and I urge all Liverpool City Region businesses to apply for a voucher from April 2015 onwards.”
The benefits to businesses of improved broadband connections include:
- Increasing profits by offering better services to more satisfied customers.
- Improving customers’ experience with quicker, communication and faster file-sharing thanks to higher upload and download speeds, especially for large files.
- Reducing software and hardware costs by helping businesses switch to online data storage solutions.
- Enhancing the way businesses communicate and collaborate through online video conference and cloud-based information sharing.
Applying for a broadband grant is easy – after 1 April 2015 all businesses in Liverpool City Region have to do is enter their postcode at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk to check eligibility, choose a supplier and fill in an application form or pick an off the shelf deal with no forms to fill in.
Charities, not for profit organisations and commercial landlords can also apply.