Barrow MP Simon Fell has been announced as a champion to support rural communities and businesses with greater digital connectivity. T

The announcement came as the government pledged £7 million to test new ways to bring together satellite, wireless and fixed-line internet connectivity for rural communities.

The government says Mr Fell, the new Rural Connectivity Champion, is well placed as he also has a background in telecoms and cyber security. He aims to show how adopting new technology can make a difference to productivity and innovation.

Part of his role will be removing local barriers for the deployment of 5G and gigabit broadband. He will jointly report to the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Mr Fell said: "I am honoured to have been asked to take up the role of Rural Connectivity Champion. Poor connectivity is holding back too many rural communities and businesses, as my own farmers and businesses in Barrow and Furness will attest.

"If we hope to unlock growth, and to ensure that our rural communities are sustainable, then the government has got to work hand in glove with local government and the private sector to deliver better connectivity. I look forward to leading that work across government and the country."