Funding to boost rural connectivity in Cumbria
Up to £2million of additional funding from Cumbria County Council is now available to help homes and businesses in rural areas of Cumbria get access to much faster and more reliable internet connections.
Vouchers (small grants) from the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) are currently available in Cumbria to subsidise the costs of bringing gigabit broadband to areas suffering with slow speeds.
This extra funding will ‘top up’ these vouchers so even more money is available to improve digital connectivity and boost the regional economy.
The GBVS currently provides up to £3,500 of funding for eligible rural businesses and up to £1,500 for eligible rural residential properties to install gigabit-capable connections as part of a group project.
Cumbria County Council’s top-up will match the existing funding available under the GBVS, so that eligible businesses can now apply for up to a maximum of £7,000 and eligible residential properties up to £3,000.
Gigabit broadband is capable of download speeds of 1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second. The economic and social benefits of these high-speed internet connections are central to the Council’s vision for the region and have been proven doubly important during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Businesses and residents in Cumbria are eligible to receive these contributions towards gigabit-capable connections if they are based in locations that are unlikely to benefit from commercial broadband rollout, or other public-funded gigabit broadband rollout, and where available services are currently less than ‘superfast’ (superfast is defined as a minimum of 30Mbps download speed).
This new top-up being launched by Cumbria County Council is the second top-up voucher scheme the Council has supported. The former Borderlands top-up, in both Cumbria and Northumberland, was funded via the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal. This delivered 41 projects, providing gigabit connectivity to over 1,200 properties in Cumbria so far.
Residents and businesses can visit the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme website to find a list of suppliers in their local area. Once you have made contact with a supplier, you do not need to do anything further and the supplier will apply for the relevant level of funding required to support each project.
HSBC launches £819m Female Entrepreneur Fund
HSBC Bank has launched the Female Entrepreneur Fund as a source of capital investment for small and medium businesses operated by women across the UK. Through the Fund, HSBC wishes to build a partnership with female entrepreneurs that could help take their businesses to the next level and realise their potential.
The Fund sits alongside the HSBC Roar initiative, which enables female entrepreneurs to access a range of masterclasses and networking opportunities.
To find out more click here
Launch of £1m fund to boost reusable packaging
Grants are available to organisations in the UK with innovative projects to increase the take-up and of reusable packaging in the food and drink sector.
Created by Hubbub, in partnership with Starbucks, the Bring It Back Fund aims to support innovative projects to increase the adoption, and remove barriers for, reusable packaging in the food and drink sector.
Grants of between £150,000 and £300,000 are available.
Successful applicants could promote behaviour change, undertake new research, expand an existing approach or attempt something completely new, including technical fixes.
UK registered organisations from any sector may apply.
Applications must be submitted online by the deadline of 5pm on 24 June 2022.
Further information and guidance can be found on the Bring it Back Fund website.
Funding to improve village halls
A new grant fund will support improvement projects for over 100 village halls across England. The £3 million Platinum Jubilee Renovation Fund will provide grants over the next three years for capital improvement projects such as installing Wi-Fi, extending buildings and modernising facilities. Details of how the funding will be administered will be announced in due course.
Read more about the fund at: