Connectivity Cabinet Member – Minutes – 18 October 2019

1 BROADBAND INFRASTRUCTURE: RURAL BUSINESS – The Director: Governance and Partnerships submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member of the government’s provisional grant award of £1m to invest in extending superfast broadband coverage to rural businesses in North Lincolnshire, and seeking approval for the proposed document plan that would support the project’s delivery.

A grant application was submitted to the government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in June 2018 seeking funding to invest in extending superfast broadband coverage in North Lincolnshire to rural businesses.

The application was successful and in May 2019 the council received a provisional grant offer of £1m. The offer was based on a target of delivering superfast broadband connectivity to 133 rural businesses.

A range of conditions accompanied the grant offer, notably that the procurement must be undertaken in line with requirements stipulated by DEFRA’s agent – Building Digital United Kingdom (BDUK). The requirements included adhering to strict legal rules and associated open EU procurement and related project governance provisions.

The report gave details of the project timescales and the initial agreed indicative project/procurement delivery programme.

Resolved – (a) That the grant award of £1m to provide superfast broadband connectivity to rural businesses in North Lincolnshire be noted, and (b) that procurement plan, as set out in the report, be approved.