Hundreds of Aberdeen businesses take up broadband scheme

Hundreds of businesses in Aberdeen have taken advantage of a UK Government voucher scheme to boost broadband connectivity.

A total of 368 companies in Aberdeen have joined more than 50,000 across the country who have benefited from the initiative.

The Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme was designed to get small and medium enterprises (SMEs) moving into a faster digital market and connected to superfast broadband.

The initiative – which has now allocated all of the £40million available since April 2015 – gave businesses the chance to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband.

The scheme has helped a variety of businesses, including architects, estate agents, mechanics, events co-ordinators, cafes, graphic designers and caterers.

Aberdeen City Council's Vice-Convener of Finance, Policy and Resources, Councillor Ross Thomson, said: "I am delighted that so many businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity to boost broadband connectivity.

"Aberdeen was recently ranked 61 out of 63 UK cities for broadband connections which is simply not good enough for Europe's Energy Capital.

"I know that the slow that slow broadband speeds have been a source of frustration for many companies here in the city.

"I am very pleased that this investment through the UK Government voucher scheme has offered faster connections which can bring a range of benefits including increased productivity, efficiency, security and, ultimately, growth in profits."

UK Government Digital Economy Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, said: "Our Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme has been a tremendous success.

"More than 360 small businesses in Aberdeen have taken up the offer, many of which are already seeing significant boosts to their business as a result of improved broadband speeds.

"We're transforming the UK's digital landscape, helping cities like Aberdeen to create new jobs and attract investment to make the UK an enviable business destination."

Whilst the scheme has now closed, its success has stimulated the market, with some suppliers now offering similar support through offers of free installation and equipment. This means that those eligible businesses who didn't apply for one of the Government's Broadband Connection Vouchers still have time to apply for a free or discounted broadband boost for their business.

Further information on the benefits of the scheme is available at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk