Positive news in B4RN’s ‘Battle for Cumbria and Northumberland’.

Following this week’s Parliamentary debate, the government has confirmed measures which will soften the blow of changes to gigabit voucher funding in those two regions under Project Gigabit.

It will still be a number of weeks before we know what this means for projects across Cumbria and Northumberland.

B4RN CEO, Michael Lee, said: “Today DCMS announced that they will be identifying ‘Voucher Priority Areas’ within the procurement scope of Project Gigabit. Within these areas, voucher applications will remain open during the Project Gigabit procurement process. This is an important change which should go a significant way to mitigating the impact of the 24th September deadline and enable far greater continuity of delivery across B4RN projects.

“We will be working hard with DCMS over the next few weeks to identify which B4RN communities can be included in ‘Voucher Priority Areas’. Once we have a clear picture across all of our affected projects I will write to each project individually.

“I have no doubt that this positive change is a direct result of the vocal and heartfelt support for B4RN that has come from all of our communities over the last few months – thank you.”

Prior to Thursday’s announcement, access to voucher funding was going to be paused across the whole of Cumbria and Northumberland after 24th September – which would have cut short B4RN’s build programme in those regions.

That led to the ongoing Battle for Cumbria and Northumberland – a campaign which is showing signs of success and wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of our volunteers and communities.