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Chancellor names further ‘super-connected cities'

Jennifer Scott

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has revealed the 12 cities awarded funding for superfast broadband roll-out in the second phase of the government’s ‘super-connected cities’ programme.

He made the announcement during his autumn speech to parliament, confirming the £50m pot would be split between the following UK cities: Aberdeen, Brighton and Hove, Cambridge, Coventry, Derby, Derry, Newport, Oxford, Perth, Portsmouth, Salford and York.

The figures of how the money will be split have yet to be released.  

Culture secretary Maria Miller, who is in charge of government broadband schemes, said: “The 12 cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders and give local economies a real boost.”

“The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment and supporting Britain in the global race.”

The chancellor first announced the £50m in his March Budget statement as a follow up to the first round of super-connected cities, which saw £100m shared between the four UK capitals, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Bradford, Newcastle and Manchester.

The money will be given to the local authorities to use, under the caveat that it puts its own cash into the scheme, seeks additional funding from private partners and ensures homes and businesses get speeds of at least 80Mbps.

The central government contribution came from savings made by Whitehall over the past two years. The £5bn of cost-cutting will also go towards four major road projects, an extension of the Northern Line tube and the HS2 railway extension.

It was also provide a £600m fund for investment into scientific infrastructure, namely facilities for research, to develop areas where the government sees the UK as having a “competitive advantage,” such as big data, energy efficient computing, advanced materials and energy storage.


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