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Let Brighton bid - Jeremy Hunt says ...No

Jeremy Hunt has rejected the Let Brighton Bid's argument that Brighton should be included in the bidding process for government funds to deliver ultra fast broadband (see letter to Caroline Lucas below). This battle may be lost, but the fight goes on...


Your Ref:
ML.C0011.ID.11.1.12
Our Ref:
196107/KS/31
Caroline Lucas MP
House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA
caroline.lucas.mp@parliament.uk
17 January 2012
Dear Caroline,
Thank you for your email of 11 January about the campaign ‘Let Brighton Bid’ and your interest in Brighton and Hove being considered for the Super-Connected Cities Initiative.
I am very pleased to hear of the successes of Brighton and Hove in generating a vibrant digital and creative economy. It is these industries that are essential for driving growth across the UK economy and it is good to hear what has already been achieved.
Regarding your request for Brighton and Hove to be considered for the Super-Connected Cities Initiative, Brighton and Hove will not be eligible to apply for this funding as it is not sufficiently large enough in terms of both population and number of dwellings. The Urban Broadband Fund is limited to £100 million for up to ten cities and proposals will only be accepted from cities meeting the criterion of dwellings exceeding 150,000.
It is possible to identify other urban areas with numbers of dwellings less than 150,000, but they would not meet the requirements of this individual project for a single contiguous area with high-speed ubiquitous connectivity.  If the criterion were set lower, a much larger number of Local Authorities, including some London Boroughs, would be eligible to bid.  For example, if it were set at 120,000, twenty-five Local Authorities, including seven London Boroughs, would be eligible, in addition to the four capitals.
Both the Chancellor’s and my vision for the Urban Broadband Fund is that it will enable a number of the UK’s largest cities to bring about a transformational change in the way in which people interact with each other, both in terms of providing information and accessing services, and the way in which they do business. The Government believes that that the greatest potential for achieving this transformational effect is to start where the concentration of residents and businesses is at their highest. But we are equally determined to ensure that ultimately all our cities, including Brighton & Hove, are part of this vision and I am very happy to work with you to discuss ways to make this happen.
Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP
Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport

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Phil Jones

Hi, I'm the Managing Director of Wired Sussex, overseeing our strategy as an organisation and work to promote our membership and its needs to local, national and international stakeholders, including government.

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