Small and medium-sized enterprises from across the Liverpool Local Authority Area can now benefit from funding to support them with the set-up costs for superfast broadband for business.
The Liverpool Broadband Vouchers Scheme, which has previously been limited to parts of Liverpool City Centre since September 2014, is now available for applications from the entire city council boundary area.
Eligible SMEs can now qualify for up to £3,000 toward the capital costs of superfast broadband connections, implemented as part of a national movement to improve broadband services for business.
Councillor Gary Millar said:
“We want Liverpool to be the best digitally connected city in the UK.
“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.”
Due to the successes of the scheme in its previous allocated areas in Liverpool City Centre, it is expected that the expansion of the scheme will allow many more Liverpool businesses to benefit from the offer.
The voucher can be used to help lessen the cost of making physical connection to business premises but cannot be used towards paying for monthly rental or any IT hardware.
Additionally, the connection will need to give a significant increase in service speed – upgrading to a minimum of 30 Mbps on a shared line, or 20 Mbps on a dedicated business grade line.
Other eligibility criteria include:
- Must be an SME (Small or Medium Enterprise), Charity or Social Enterprise
- Must be located within Liverpool Local Authority area
- The connection must cost more than £100
- Must be seeking a connection to the SME’s business premises
- Must sign up for a minimum 6 month contract with their supplier
- Must select a service that is capable of achieving 30Mbps or higher or a doubling of existing speeds
- Must not have received more than approximately £120,000 in grants in the last three years
More information about eligibility and an eligibility checker is available on the vouchers scheme website at: www.connectionvouchers.co.uk/liverpool
Words: Peter Cribley