EUR 100 million of regional funds for a major broadband project in West Wales and the valleysMarch 11, 2013
Funding Scheme: 2013-03-11
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has been granted a 100 million euro investment by the European Commission to ensure that all businesses and residential premises in West Wales and the Valleys have access to next generation broadband by 2015.
The project directly contributes to reaching the objectives of the ‘Digital Agenda for Europe’ in
terms of basic broadband access and Next Generation Access and opens a door to the
digital economy in this region.
The project will involve the installation of fibre-based access networks as well as 300
open-access infrastructure points across the area of Wales most in need of an economic
boost. The outcome of the project is likely to ensure that 95% of premises in Wales will
see a significant improvement in broadband speed. It is expected that 80% of existing
small and medium-sized businesses and eighty new companies will benefit from the
improved broadband infrastructure – as well as the wider population of Wales.
The investment comes through a programme called “West Wales and the Valleys ERDF
Convergence”: priority axis “Building the knowledge based economy”. The European
Union, through the ERDF, will finance €100m out of a total investment of €210m.
This is a “major project”, of which the total investment (VAT included) is above €50 million
and thus subject to a specific decision by the European Commission, whereas other types
of projects are approved at national or regional levels.
The UK has been allocated approximately €10.6 billion in total Cohesion Policy funding
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