Digital Technology: South Yorkshire

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 3 July 2018.

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Photo of Dan Jarvis Dan Jarvis Labour, Barnsley Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the growth of digital economies in South Yorkshire.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Since launching our Digital Strategy last year, the Government has taken a number of steps to support digital economies across the UK, including in South Yorkshire.

In November last year, Government invested £21 million to expand Tech City UK into a nationwide network – Tech Nation – to accelerate the growth of the digital tech sector across the country. Tech Nation will support 40,000 entrepreneurs and up to 4,000 start-ups as they scale their businesses across the country - including in South Yorkshire.

Supported by over £3m of investment from DCMS, the Castle House project in Sheffield will act as a hub for supporting the digital economy across South Yorkshire, with this new facility providing work space and business support for local companies with a focus on digital technology and its application.

Our £67m National Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which provides a voucher towards the cost of installing a Gigabit (1,000 Megabits per second) capable connection, has also delivered benefits to South Yorkshire. Across Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster twenty businesses have already been granted these vouchers and five of them have already gone right through to completion of a live connection.

In July we will open up bidding for our Wave3 of the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund. Local bodies will be invited to open dialogue with us to propose projects that will stimulate the build of fibre within their region, with up to £95m of funding will be available in this round.

Government has also announced £2.5 billion of extra funding by the British Business Bank, to unlock over £10 billion of finance and support new UK businesses in their ambitions to grow across the UK, including South Yorkshire.

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