Firms based on business parks and industrial estates the length and breadth of Northumberland can now experience first-hand why superfast broadband is good for business.

More than 20 business parks and industrial estates in the county including Coopies Lane and Telford Court in Morpeth, Pegswood Industrial Estate and Meadowfield Industrial estate in Ponteland have been upgraded to the new high-speed technology thanks to the multi-million pound iNorthumberland programme.

In addition to rolling out the new network, iNorthumberland has developed a free programme of business support to help local businesses benefit from the new technology by them saving time, money and improving efficiency.

The advantages of having superfast broadband are considerable for businesses, enabling them to do much more in far less time, but it’s vital that individual businesses understand how they can apply the technology in a way that brings them the biggest benefits.

In September this year iNorthumberland in partnership with Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, launched a fully funded businesses support package which aims to regenerate and transform local businesses by teaching the knowledge and skills required to successfully grow an online presence using the latest applications and technology.

Since then more than 100 businesses have signed up to the programme  which includes one-to-one business adviser support, access to an online learning system, free master classes on topics such as social media and digital marketing as well as financial incentives for eligible businesses worth up to £400.

MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery, said:“This is great news for businesses on Coopies Lane as fibre broadband provides fast, strong and reliable connections which can be used to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.

“Having the latest technology in place at business parks and industrial estates throughout the county will undoubtedly boost the local economy, help to create and protect local jobs and attract inward investment.“

Deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, Cllr Dave Ledger, said: “Putting fibre in the ground is one thing, but ensuring businesses understand how that fibre can help them thrive is a different matter altogether.

“For some firms faster file and data transfers might free up hours of their time, others may be able to save money by moving the day to day running of their business to the Cloud, while for others it could enable staff to work from home or to communicate with long distance clients via video calls.

“For many it could be as simple as utilising social networking more effectively or maintaining a dynamic website.

“Every business may reap a different benefit, but we want to ensure that every business understands exactly what that is.“

Managing director at Marine MegaStore Ltd, Richard Pattinson, said: “Our upgrade to fibre completed only this week and our internet speeds have rocketed from around 1Mbps to 40Mbps.

“Already we are able to work faster and more cost effectively. Superfast internet speeds will enable us to host web based work in-house rather than having to go via data centres which has the potential to save us a substantial amount of money. ”


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