The ‘Connection Voucher Scheme’ allows small to medium sized enterprise (SMEs) and social enterprises within the new Fermanagh and Omagh district area to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to obtain high-speed broadband connections.
The overall aim of the proposed scheme is to stimulate economic growth in the district by not only helping existing organisations overcome the cost of installing high speed broadband, but also by improving the overall fibre infrastructure in the area making it a more desirable location to invest.
A similar scheme has been in operation in Belfast, with grants from the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sports, since December 2013 with over £1.5 million in grants given to almost 800 organisations. From the information provided by applicants, it has been estimated that each voucher will contribute three jobs and £133,000 in turnover for each business over three years.
The scheme was by approved by the Council last night (Tuesday).
The Regeneration and Community Committee includes recommendations that the council approves payment of an initialisation charge of £8,000 to Belfast City Council to enable the commencement of the Broadband Connection Voucher Scheme in the Council area; authorises a service level agreement be put in place with Belfast City Council to deliver the Connection Voucher scheme.
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