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Highland Communities encourages to put forward projects for Broadband improvement funding

Issued: 5 Jul 2010

Rural communities across the Highlands are being encouraged to put forward bids for a share of million Euro fund that could bring enhanced Broadband to their area including improved coverage and faster connections.

Following an announcement last week by the Scottish Government that funding was now available, The Highland Leader Programme is encouraging interested communities to make contact with their local LEADER representative to start the application process.

Convener of The Highland Council, Sandy Park said: "This is a great chance for rural areas to access the funds needed to bring their local Broadband service to the highest possible standard. Family usage of the Internet for research, studying, learning new skills and leisure is expanding and more and more local businesses are conducting transactions on-line. Where you live should not be a stumbling block to how you access these services.

"The aim of Highland LEADER is to enable people in the Highlands to realise their ambitions to live in communities where they can fulfil their personal, social and economic potential. Anything that will bring an increase to the capacity of local rural community and business networks is welcome so I would encourage people looking to make improvements to their Broadband connections to make contact with their local LEADER officer as soon as possible."

Bids will be considered by the Scottish Government in October so all applications from the Highlands should be completed and passed to Highland LEADER by Monday 6th September 2010

LEADER Development Manager Nicole Wallace said: "All projects put forward should be in keeping with the LEADER principles and should show that improved broadband access would have a positive impact. Due to the summer holidays there is not much time for applications to be made so I would urge any communities wishing to put forward a bid to contact their local LEADER Officer who will be able to give them help and advice. Full details on the application process are also available on our website - . www.highlandleader.com. We will be collating all applications and then passing them to the Scottish Government who will ultimately be making the final decision in October."

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme