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UK.gov lays out what cities will get in broadband cash divvy

'Digital leaders, digital stage, digital, er ... thingmy'

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Freshly-installed culture Secretary Maria Miller announced this morning just how much cash will be slapped on 10 major cities to improve local broadband, after the Treasury's initial £100m allocation ballooned to £114.1m.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport provided a breakdown of how much will be spent in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds & Bradford (joint bid), London, Manchester and Newcastle.

Miller said:

Fast broadband is essential for growth, and is key to the country’s economic future. These ten cities have produced ambitious and comprehensive plans, which will turn them into digital leaders, and give their local economies a real boost. The new investment will help put these cities at the centre of the digital stage, competing for jobs and investment with the best in the world.

Her department said that the extra £14.1m needed to pay for the cities' broadband projects would probably be lifted from the existing £830m pot set aside by the government to bring faster fibre networks to much of the UK during this parliament ending in 2015.

Here's how the cash will be divvied up: Belfast £13.7m; Birmingham £10m; Bristol £11.3m; Cardiff £11m; Edinburgh £10.7m; Leeds & Bradford £14.4m; London £25m; Manchester £12m and Newcastle £6m.

The DCMS added that each city would be required to provide additional resources towards the broadband rollout.

It said that around 230,000 homes and 55,000 businesses would benefit from "ultrafast broadband access" within the next three years. Others will see improvements to wireless speeds, the DCMS added.

A second round of funding will be allocated to cities with a Royal Charter and more than 45,000 homes and businesses, or more than 35,000 homes and biz premises if in Northern Ireland.

The DCMS earmarked the following cities as being eligible for government subsidies: Aberdeen, Brighton & Hove, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Exeter, Gloucester, Kingston upon Hull, Leicester, Londonderry/Derry, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Perth, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea, Wolverhampton and York.

Around £50m is expected be shared among 10 of those cities that successfully bid for government funding. ®

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