Up to 500 small and medium sized businesses in Liverpool city centre can now benefit from funding to help with the set up costs of high speed broadband.
The Liverpool Broadband Vouchers Scheme is now open for applications and will give eligible SMEs up to £3,000 towards the capital costs of a super/ultra-fast broadband connection.
It is being implemented as part of a national drive to provide a much better service of superfast broadband.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “I want Liverpool to be the best digitally connected city in the UK. We have a long road ahead to achieve this but this scheme is a major leap in taking the city’s economy to the next level.
“We are competing on a global stage and investment in our digital infrastructure is a real priority for the city.”
The city council is working with Liverpool Commercial District Business Improvement District (BID) on the scheme, who will ensure all eligible businesses in the citycentre have the opportunity to apply.
Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, said: “This broadband scheme is a game changer for Liverpool city centre.
“It’s going to make a huge impact to the efficiency and productivity of businesses and make Liverpool an even more attractive place to do business.
“This goes to the heart of our plans to support our members by improving their working environments.”
The voucher can be used towards the cost of making the physical connection to business premises, but cannot pay for monthly rental or for any IT equipment.
The connection needs to give a real change in service speed – upgrading to a minimum of 30Mbps on a shared line or 20Mbps on a dedicated business grade line
The eligibility criteria are as follows:
• Must be an SME (Small or Medium Enterprise), Charity or Social Enterprise
• Must be located within an Enterprise Zone in Liverpool city centre
• The connection must cost more than £100
• Must be seeking a connection to the SME’s business premises
• Must sign up for a minimum 6 month contract with their supplier
• Must select a service that is capable of achieving 30Mbps or higher or a doubling of existing speeds
• Must not have received more than approximately £120,000 in grants in the last three years