Glasgow missing out on broadband funds
Glasgow along with Inverness and Stirling have all been denied the chance to apply for crucial cash from the UK Government’s Urban Broadband Fund.
The UK Government has made available £50 million to help cities roll out ultrafast-broadband and have announced that Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth will be the only Scottish cities eligible to apply.
Inverness and Stirling have been excluded on the basis that they have less than 45,000 homes and businesses. Glasgow was unsuccessful in earlier rounds and is therefore ineligible to apply again.
The Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment Alex Neil has written to Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, calling for a share of the Fund to be allocated to the Scottish cities as a group. Mr Neil also suggested a Scottish superfast cities initiative to be developed in partnership between Scottish Government and local authority representatives from major cities.
Mr Neil said:
“While I welcome the news that Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth are eligible to apply for this crucial funding, it is still disappointing that all of our cities are not able to benefit.
“Inverness, as capital of the Highlands, is surely an ideal candidate for this fund. Similarly Stirling could benefit hugely from being able to bid for this funding. I have asked Mr Hunt to look again at how the Urban Broadband Fund could work in Scotland, whether Scotland could be allocated a proportion of this fund, we could ensure all of our cities could benefit effectively.
“The Scottish Government will go on driving forward our plans to deliver faster broadband for the whole country and investing substantially with the funding we control. This extra money from the Urban Broadband Fund would be a real boost on the back of our Procurement Plan, which I announced earlier this week and is a crucial step forward in our work to roll out faster internet access across Scotland.”