The knowledge and data-intensive economy and lifestyles of the 21st century need high-speed, reliable internet connectivity, while businesses also need cutting-edge equipment and facilities to help make new ideas a reality.
We are working with Superfast West Yorkshire and York, our partner councils, Broadband Delivery UK (DCMS), the European Regional Development Fund and BT Openreach to speed up broadband speeds for up to 98% of West Yorkshire and York.
The project has already connected a total of 64,500 homes and businesses across Bradford, Leeds, Calderdale and Wakefield, with superfast coverage being extended to a further 44,600 homes and businesses all over West Yorkshire (including Kirklees) and York by the end of June 2021.
The Superfast West Yorkshire and York project is also working to extend the availability of Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband infrastructure and to build on the already-achieved Government’s target for 95% of the UK to have access to superfast broadband speeds by the end of 2017.
To achieve this, West Yorkshire Combined Authority intends to procure further coverage of NGA broadband infrastructure capable of delivering download speeds of at least 30 Megabits per second (Mbps) in areas within its programme area where such broadband is currently unavailable, by the end of Jan 2019.
Supporting innovative businesses
The Combined Authority is also investing in projects and facilities to help businesses innovate, with access to the latest technologies.
Projects like the Huddersfield Incubation & Innovation Programme aim to boost innovation among local SMEs and entrepreneurs by providing better access to specialist support, communal working areas and state-of-the-art technologies.
We have invested £3 million of Leeds City Region Growth Deal funding into the NEXUS innovation centre at the University of Leeds to help expand business innovation and ‘incubation’ space in the city.
Our Access Innovation Programme and Strategic Business Growth Programme provide funding for SMEs to help access specialist expertise, facilities or equipment.