Drive to get every West Yorkshire home and business online

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West Yorkshire is set to bid for a £6.34million pot of cash in a drive to get every home and business online.

Councils across the county are working together as part of the Leeds City Region Partnership in an attempt to win the investment that will also help get 90 per cent of properties hooked up to super-fast fibre optic broadband.

The money has been made available to councils and local enterprise partnerships by the Government.

But first they must demonstrate how they plan to roll out internet across their area and be prepared to match the investment with European, their own or private funds.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development, said it was “vital” to act now or Yorkshire would be left behind by other areas both in the UK and abroad.

He confirmed that West Yorkshire was already developing a ‘local broadband plan’.

Coun Lewis said: “Leeds City Council is working with the other West Yorkshire authorities to develop a local broadband plan. These authorities are also working together to find a way to tap into other funding that may be available, which could contribute towards the broadband delivery allocation.

“It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 homes and businesses within West Yorkshire which currently do not have access to super-fast broadband and are unlikely to get it in the next three years.

“This amounts to nearly a quarter of all premises being denied access to broadband. It is vital that we act if we don’t want Yorkshire to be left behind by other areas both in the UK and abroad.

“That is why this bid, which is backed by the LEP Board, is good news.”

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region LEP Board, added: “The partnership is keen to support the development of broadband connectivity across the city region and will be working with local authorities, partners and the private sector to unlock the funding being made available to ensure that no areas in the city region are left behind.”

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