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Councils bid for £20m broadband deal

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WARRINGTON and two other Cheshire councils are working together to try and secure £20m of grant funding to deliver superfast broadband across the county by 2015.
The bold vision was outlined at an event looking at how superfast broadband could boost the local economy, increase jobs and deliver significant benefits to rural communities.
Residents, business leaders and politicians came together at Cranage Hall, near Knutsford, for the “Connecting Cheshire and Warrington Superfast Broadband” event.
The aim was to highlight why increased broadband speeds are critical for business growth and supporting social inclusion in rural areas.
It was hosted jointly by Warrington, Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester councils.
The three authorities are working together to develop a business case to try and secure the funding, including some of the £530m the government has set aside for investment in superfast broadband across the UK.
The Cheshire and Warrington Superfast Broadband Project has only recently been formed and its aim is to secure both public and private sector funding to achieve 100 per cent superfast broadband coverage across the area by 2015.
It is estimated that superfast broadband would support the creation of 5,500 jobs in Cheshire and Warrington and add £197m in growth to the economy year on year.
Cllr Hitesh Patel, executive member for personnel and communications at Warrington Borough Council said: “We would very much welcome faster broadband to Cheshire and Warrington for two main reasons.
“Firstly, for the benefits it will bring to local people, in particular our younger residents and those living in the more rural areas of the borough, and secondly an improved broadband service is also good for business and employment.”
More information on superfast broadband in Cheshire and Warrington can be obtained from www.connectingcheshire.org.uk

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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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