AN extra £643,000 has been awarded to Connecting Cheshire by the Government to reach more rural premises – including homes in Arley – with superfast fibre broadband.

The funding has been provided to cover premises in four ‘hard to reach’ locality areas, including Arley.

The additional coverage will be provided under an extension to the current Connecting Cheshire programme being rolled-out by BT Openreach in partnership with four Cheshire councils covering Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington.

The additional coverage will provide a significant boost to the viability of some of Cheshire’s most rural communities.

Faster and more-reliable broadband services have been proven to benefit all elements of the community, from the elderly and vulnerable to small businesses and home workers.

Clr David Brown, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, on behalf of the Connecting Cheshire Partnership, said: “This is great news for the project and a real boost to these communities who have campaigned tirelessly to make the case for faster broadband.

“With their help we were able to convince the government that fibre broadband is now essential for the social and economic sustainability of these communities.

“I would especially like to thank all those who helped us demonstrate high levels of support for this application by securing hundreds of demand registrations across their communities.

“The message to everyone is to register your interest in wanting superfast broadband – to help influence future funding applications.”