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Funding news - 06/07/2017

Government Announces £400 Million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF)

The Government's Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury has launched a new £400 million programme to accelerate high-speed broadband infrastructure.

Andrew Jones MP has revealed outline details of the new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which is intended to unlock more than £1 billion of investment in full-fibre broadband to support exceptional internet connections across the UK.

The Fund is part of a Government pledge to revolutionise the country's digital infrastructure, making online access more reliable for businesses, and enabling more people to work remotely without interruption. The outcome of delivering this new funding package is to propel the economy ahead and bear down on commercial costs, thereby helping businesses to set-up and grow.

In recent times, the Government has invested £1.7 billion in the rollout superfast broadband and this new Fund is expected to guarantee continued progress in digital infrastructure for the future. The launch of the Fund will help accelerate the rollout of ultra-fast digital networks by increasing access to private finance for those companies delivering them.

The initiative will be managed and invested on a commercial basis by private sector partners, generating a commercial return for the Government. The aim is to ignite interest from private finance companies to invest in the sector, resulting in more alternative providers entering and expanding in the market.

Two infrastructure investment firms have been appointed to manage the fund; Amber Fund Management Limited and M&G Investments. The Government has worked with industry to create this new opportunity, which by leveraging private sector investment is expected to become self-sufficient in the long-term.

Businesses that are interested in accessing the Fund are advised to contact the Fund Managers directly, and they will offer advice on the investment process.

Launching the Fund during a visit to Peterborough, Andrew Jones MP said: “We are investing £400 million to make sure the UK’s digital infrastructure is match-fit for the future.

“As technologies change and people’s habits move with them, it is crucial we play our part to ensure Britain stays at the front of the pack.

“Gone will be the days where parents working from home see their emails grind to a halt while a family member is gaming or streaming Game of Thrones in the next room.

“Full fibre will provide us with the better broadband we need to ensure we can work flexibly and productively, without connections failing.”

Source: gov.uk, 03/07/2017

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