On Thursday 31st of March, Dr Neil Hudson MP for Penrith and The Border welcomed Nadine Dorries MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, to Kirkoswald where B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) were installing full fibre broadband to the area.
Homes in Kirkoswald will be connected to fibre broadband as a result of the work of B4RN and the backing of Project Gigabit. Project Gigabit is a government scheme that supports the rollout of gigabit broadband coverage in the hardest to reach areas of the UK. The first procurements to benefit from the record £5 billion funding commitment are 60,000 to 80,000 premises in West Cumbria and 30,000 to 50,000 premises in North and West Northumberland and East Cumbria.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said: “It was fantastic to be back in Kirkoswald to support this community getting access to fibre broadband. I was pleased to be able to welcome the Secretary of State to our beautiful area and discuss the importance of rural connectivity and have full Government support on this important issue. Better digital connectivity for my constituents has been a key pillar of my campaigning in Parliament since my election. This issue is not going away and I will bang the drum and do all in my power to improve the outcomes for the residents of Penrith and The Border. I would like to thank the local community volunteers, B4RN and their CEO, Michael Lee, for all their hard work and dedication in connecting these rural areas and offering such a vital lifeline to our area.”
Nadine Dorries Secretary of State said: “The fantastic thing about Kirkoswald and what is happening here today is how the community have really been involved in achieving the goals to make sure that everybody is connected with gigabit broadband. It is great to see the community, the volunteers, the local MP Neil Hudson, and B4RN working together to ensure that Kirkoswald is connected with gigabit broadband for the future and this couldn’t happen without all parties being involved. It takes the community to help get everything in place, it takes B4RN to come and connect, and it takes the MP Neil Hudson and others to work as facilitators between the two. It is important to emphasise how determined we are as Government to ensure that all rural communities across the UK are connected to gigabit broadband. It is great to see this project off the ground. It really is quite special.”
CEO of B4RN Michael Lee said: “It is absolutely fantastic that the Secretary of State was able to join myself and the local MP Neil Hudson to come and see the fantastic work that the volunteers at Kirkoswald have been doing over the last weeks and months to really make their B4RN project a reality. This work couldn’t have happened without two things. One is the funding we get from DCMS that enables us to reach these hard to reach rural communities. The other is the hard work and dedication of local communities. Kirkoswald is a great example of where these two things can come together to deliver future proof broadband for the community.”