European approval for broadband plans

Businesses and households in Lincolnshire are set to enjoy superfast broadband after the European Union lifted funding regulations stalling the project.

The scheme, which had been delayed awaiting the EU’s ‘state aided approval’ for public money to be spent alongside private investment in the £57million project, is now expected to begin next summer.

Lincolnshire County Council, which has invested £10 million in the project backed by a further £4 million from East Lindsey District Council, hopes 90 per cent of the county’s business and homes will receive it by 2015.

LCC’s executive member for finance and HR Coun Kelly Smith said: “ We welcome the news of the EU approval - unfortunately, the delays in this coming through have pushed back the original timetable by a couple of months, which is very frustrating, however, now we have the green light we can get on with making this happen.”

Business representatives in the county have also welcomed the news, which they feel will aid firms in rural areas which are currently ‘hampered’ by the lack of a reliable high-speed broadband connection.

Lincolnshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership’s chairman Ursula Lidbetter said: “Better infrastructure will mean Lincolnshire businesses can grow, trade more effectively online and explore new export markets and it will also help our area attract inward investment.”