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Business group responds to Greater Manchester’s £25m broadband windfall

Federation of Small Businesses responds to news announced in yesterday’s Spring statement that GM will receive £25 million to upgrade to super-fast ‘Full Fibre to Premises’ (FFTP) broadband: 

Chris Manka, Area Chair for FSB in Greater Manchester, said: “This is really good news for the region, and should help Greater Manchester go on to achieve its digital ambitions as a leading hub in Europe, which is one of the fast growing industry sectors. 

“The end game is for a city region where bandwidth is not an issue for either the public, but more importantly, the private sector, and this injection of cash is a significant milestone in that journey for Greater Manchester. 

He added: “The focus should now be on having the infrastructure installed as quickly as possible, and to benefit as many businesses as possible in the first wave. There are approaching 110,000 businesses in GM, and so the 17,000 that stand to gain initially is only a small section of the private sector. The rollout must be as inclusive as possible, and benefit not just the biggest business with the deepest pockets, but small firms too.

“I would also urge the authorities to make sure that when the roll out commences – whenever that is – that disruptive roadworks are kept to a bare minimum, are well publicised in advanced, and are carried out as quickly, efficiently and as thoughtfully as possible. 

“At the moment some parts of Greater Manchester are being swamped by roadworks which damages business and is a contributory factor to lower productivity. We don’t want to see any repetition of that in future if at all possible.” 

To read the Combined Authority’s press release relating to the £25m windfall, click HERE.