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Firms on the Queens Meadow Business Park in Hartlepool now have access to superfast, fibre broadband following a £30,000 investment by Hartlepool Borough Council, the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the owners of the business park.

It is the first area within the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone to be upgraded to the new technology as part of the BDUK roll out, which is being coordinated in Tees Valley by Tees Valley Unlimited. The technology will boost broadband speeds for companies already located at the site and also help to attract new businesses keen to take advantage of better, faster broadband.

The high-speed technology is available to all 110 business units on the park with those choosing to upgrade able to take advantage of speeds of up to 80Mbps*. This will provide a host of benefits, such as faster file and data transfers, better access to cloud computing services and software, more sophisticated web-based contact with customers via social media and state of the art websites. It can also support more flexible working for both business owners and their staff.

Councillor Kevin Cranney, Chair of Hartlepool Council’s Regeneration Services Policy Committee, said: “In the modern technological age, efficient communication systems are vital to enable companies to compete successfully in a global market. Superfast broadband is an additional welcome boost to the excellent services and facilities we have at Queens Meadow and has been achieved through excellent partnership working by a number of key organisations.

The roll-out is part of the Digital Durham broadband programme, a multi-million pound partnership between BT and ten local authorities which will transform broadband speeds for businesses and residents across the Tees Valley, County Durham, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley which coordinates activities under the Digital Durham-led programme, said: “The Tees Valley Enterprise Zone which includes Queens Meadow has already seen around £750 million of private sector investment and created around 700 jobs.

“High-speed communications are crucial to commercial success in today’s competitive marketplaces and this investment will start transforming broadband speeds in the Tees Valley Enterprise Zone, further strengthening the area’s qualities as a great place to do business.”

Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North East, added: “This investment is vital to Tees Valley’s future economy and it will support the effectiveness of local businesses and provide yet another reason for firms to relocate to Queens Meadow. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

Marie Kiddell, area manager at HCA, the owner of the business park which is also building Enterprise Court, a £3m development comprising of 21 units at Queens Meadow, said: “Superfast broadband opens up new opportunities for businesses and is vital to attract inward investment to Queens Meadow and the wider Tees Valley.”

Peter Taylor, area manager of  UK Steel Enterprise, the Tata Steel business-support subsidiary that opened The Innovation Centre on the Queens Meadow Business Park in 2005 and now supports more than 50 fast-growing young businesses there, said: “It is excellent news that superfast broadband will be available right across the business park. Our innovation centre tenants have had a fibre optic connection for some time and there is no doubt that it makes a massive difference to businesses, especially those in the high technology sector.Having high speed, high data allowance and download capabilities saves them time and money and boosts their competitiveness in a global marketplace.”

For further information about the fibre broadband programme please visit www.digitaldurham.org or www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

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