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MP welcomes council Fibre GarDen decision

February 5, 2015 2:41 PM

 (Tim broadband photo)Garsdale's MP Tim Farron and local county councillor Nick Cotton have welcomed a decision made by Cumbria County Council's cabinet meeting to allow the super-fast Fibre GarDen broadband project to proceed. This is something Tim and Nick have long called for and this clears a major hurdle for the project going forward.

The Connecting Cumbria project contract was awarded to BT to deliver a broadband service in a defined geographical area of Cumbria.

If the community super-fast broadband scheme was to go ahead it was necessary for the Council to agree to remove the area covered by it from the area covered by the wider Connecting Cumbria scheme. This is due to funding conflict issues which would otherwise prevent the Fibre GarDen scheme going ahead. This report will present the options for members and explain the issues and risks of each option.

After this decision and five years of hard work by campaigners, meetings and planning Fibre GarDen is on the point of becoming a reality and we will see the contractors move into the Dales to commence the 'Big Dig'.

Tim helped secure Fibre GarDen a grant for £382,500 from DEFRA under the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF), a product of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) co-financed by Broadband Delivery UK.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Sustainable Development Fund also provided the project with a grant of £35,000 to help fund a new post of Community Project Co-ordinator to create new local employment.

Tim said: "The decision of the County Council's cabinet is a good one and I thank them for their help in this. This decision will help move this fantastic community project forward. The team behind Fibre GarDen are amazing and have single-handily made this project happen. I have tried to support the team in the five year journey getting to this stage.

"Fibre GarDen will help provide the residents of Dentdale and Garsdale super-fast broadband that millions of people can only be dream of. We have now jumped another hurdle and are another step closer to the big dig!"