Assurances won over funding for community broadband projects

26 January 2011

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Peter Peacock has won assurances from Rural Affairs Minister Richard Lochhead that community broadband projects in the region who fear they have missed out on funding may still get money.

The Highland LEADER Local Action Group (LAG) was among who bid for funding from the Rural Broadband Challenge Fund but unfortunately it was not successful.

However Mr Peacock wrote to Mr Lochhead asking him if some form of funding was still possible because there was a clear demand for the scheme.

In a letter back to Mr Peacock Mr Lochhead said: "Despite ongoing Scottish Rural Development Programme budgetary constraints there is still an opportunity to support innovative community IT projects using existing LEADER resources.

"This of course would be subject to this project fit with the local business plan and would require support from the LAG, however this may be an option worth pursuing."

Peter Peacock said: "I am glad that Mr Lochhead has indicated that the LAG still has a possibility of funding.

"As I have repeatedly said the Highlands and Islands needs to get better broadband access as soon as possible.

"Hopefuly the Scottish Government is now realising this."


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