AN ADDITIONAL £4m has been made available to help homes and businesses in rural areas of Cumbria and Northumberland to get faster internet.

Vouchers are already available to subsidise the costs of those suffering from slow speeds as part of the £394.5m Borderlands Growth Deal.

Now up to £4 million of additional Government funding will ‘top up’ these vouchers to help the regional economy.

The Government’s Gigabit Broadband Vouchers Scheme provides up to £3,500 funding for eligible businesses and up to £1,500.

The extra money will boost the amount eligible businesses can apply for, up to £7,000 for businesses and £3,000 for homes.

The economic and social benefits of these high-speed internet connections are central to the Government’s vision for the region.

Businesses and residents in Cumbria and Northumberland are eligible to apply for the funds if they are in locations that are unlikely to benefit from commercial broadband rollout.

Councillor Stewart Young, leader of Cumbria County Council, said: “I’m pleased that this project is progressing well with the launch of the top up to the scheme.”

Councillor John Mallinson, leader of Carlisle City Council, said: “Connectivity is key to the development of our city and the wider region.

“We encourage local businesses and residents to get involved and take up the opportunities on offer.”

For information go online to:

Application deadline is March 31, 2021.