Important Update

CHANGES TO GOVERNMENT FUNDING – Affecting Cumbria and Northumberland

B4RN projects in Cumbria and Northumberland are affected by a government decision on gigabit voucher funding.

We have been fighting to ease those changes with the Battle for Cumbria and Northumberland and have won some concessions! Letters updating affected projects on what Voucher Priority Areas mean were sent out in late October 2021.

DCMS (the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) had previously announced it’ll be closing the UK Gigabit Voucher scheme in those regions from 24th September, prompting the need for urgent sign up at Get B4RN.

Summary

Project Gigabit is the strategy to deliver a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage across the UK by 2025. Through Project Gigabit, funding will be made available to eligible ISPs – including B4RN – through three main routes:

Voucher Scheme. The voucher scheme has been re-launched as the “UK Gigabit Voucher” (UKGV), with an additional £210m funding.
Local Suppliers. Local suppliers are able to propose specific procurement areas on a case-by-case basis.
Regional Suppliers. Suppliers will be appointed through competition. Regional suppliers will deliver across a region, in a phased approach, to areas that aren’t planned to be delivered through local suppliers or the voucher scheme.

B4RN works with DCMS, BDUK and Regional Government to ensure the best funding approach for our communities. For now, it is clear that the voucher scheme (now called UKGV) continues to have support and funding and is the best way to deliver gigabit broadband, working in partnership with rural communities.

For further information please call 01524 555887 or email vouchers@b4rn.org.uk.