Fibre optic broadband

Is your co-op eligible for a £3,000 “superfast” broadband grant?

Edinburgh Student Housing Co-operative (ESHC) has become the first co-operative and the first Industrial & Provident Society to successfully apply for a £3,000 Government Broadband Connection Voucher – paving the way for other co-ops to apply more easily.

The funding aims to help businesses develop by granting up to £3,000 to cover the costs of getting a “superfast” fibre optic broadband connection.

There are some conditions you need to fulfil, with the full details on the scheme’s website. The funding is only available in 22 cities and surrounding areas are eligible, is only available for new installations or if you’re changing providers, and only covers the costs of equipment and installation. Your co-operative should also be a “small-to-medium-sized enterprise” (SME), basically meaning there are 10-250 people involved. However, get in touch with the scheme’s staff to discuss details. They are keen to help co-operatives, and the scheme has been slow to start – the BBC reported in late September 2014 that only £7.5m out of a planned £100m has been granted so far, and the scheme ends in March 2015!

Feel free to get in touch with ESHC with questions!