The City Deal, signed by the Government, leaders of local authorities and the Local Enterprise Foundation, will expand the technological base at New England House to make it a major centre for creative and digital businesses. It will also provide cheaper and faster broadband for Brighton’s tech companies by creating a “Digital Exchange” in the heart of the city.
Brighton is currently home to around 1,500 tech companies – the same number as London’s Tech City, also known as ‘Silicon Roundabout’. The investment that will be unlocked by the City Deal will therefore be of huge benefit to Brighton and Hove’s innovative, outward-looking tech industry and I am very pleased that the city has been able to secure the much-deserved funding.
All this builds on the work that has been going on over the last two years to bring ultrafast broadband to our city. I was delighted to have been able to help facilitate the opportunity for Brighton to bid for Government money to improve our City’s digital infrastructure. Following our city’s successful bid, Brighton and Hove businesses now have access to high speed quality broadband via a voucher scheme.
This is now up and running. It is there to help small businesses, charities and voluntary organisations in Brighton to access up to £3000 of capital costs associated with installing an ultrafast broadband connection. Last week, Brighton & Hove City Council issued the first voucher to We Are Tilt, a well-deserved recipient.
For those who are interested in the scheme, details about applying for a voucher can be found here. The scheme is open to limited companies, sole traders or any other form of business, and you can check whether your organisation is in an eligible location here.
I would love to hear from any local businesses who apply and have feedback about their experience of applying for vouchers.
So, with the City Deal and Superconnected Cities, we have some funding that will undoubtedly be used well by local businesses so they can continue to flourish as part of a city that’s increasingly a global hub for technology and creative innovation.