Broadband grant for Derry businesses

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Local businesses interested in improving their broadband capacity will have the opportunity to sign up to the Derry Connection Voucher Scheme during Derry’s major digital festival CultureTech this week.

The government backed scheme offers all small to medium sized businesses between £200 - £3000 to upgrade to superfast broadband. The programme is being delivered by Derry City Council and funded by the Department of Culture Media and Sport through the Urban Broadband Fund, with support from Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund.

The Voucher Scheme is part of the Super Connected Derry programme which aims to improve Derry’s digital infrastructure, increasing efficiency and reducing costs for local businesses. Among the other benefits are faster download and upload speeds of up to 100mbps, more flexible working and access to global markets

The grants are allocated on a first come first serve basis, and the scheme will operate until March 2015. But with the extension of the scheme to Strabane this month, local businesses are being urged to sign up sooner rather than later while funding is still available.

Business Opportunities Manager with Derry City Council, Louise Breslin, said the funding presented a fantastic opportunity for businesses in all areas of industry.

“The Derry Connection Voucher Scheme allows businesses to boost performance by upgrading their digital speeds and accessing wider global markets. Now it’s even simpler to apply, but we will be present at CultureTech throughout the week to advise and assist anyone who is considering completing the application.

“The scheme will also open up to businesses in Strabane this week, so I would like to remind people that the funding is allocated on a first come first served basis, and for a limited time.”

Council representatives will be on hand at the Playhouse from Wednesday to Friday, 10am – 3pm, and in Foyleside on Saturday, to take applicants through the newly streamlined application process.

The scheme is open to any SME business with fewer than 249 employees and a turnover of less than £50m. All you have to pay is the VAT, and any additional connection costs above the £3000 allocation, VAT can then be claimed back by VAT registered businesses.

For any further information about the scheme Email: superconnectedderry@derrycity.gov.uk

Apply Online: www.derrycity.gov.uk/superconnectedderry Telephone: 0800 0383 518