Delight at faster broadband in town centre

David Bavaird, Chair of the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce; Simon Roberson, BTs NE regional partnership director; Alan Campbell MP; Mayor Norma Redfearn; Samantha Grigg, marketing guru at Blu Sky Chartered Accountants; and Mark Renney, director at Wuubleyou. Picture by Michael Baister.

David Bavaird, Chair of the North Shields Chamber of Trade and Commerce; Simon Roberson, BTs NE regional partnership director; Alan Campbell MP; Mayor Norma Redfearn; Samantha Grigg, marketing guru at Blu Sky Chartered Accountants; and Mark Renney, director at Wuubleyou. Picture by Michael Baister.

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An historic Georgian square is one of the first locations to benefit from a multi-million pound broadband programme.

Around 100 homes and businesses in and around Northumberland Square can now go superfast with Openreach rolling out the technology to a further 2,500 premises in North Shields over the next six months.

And across North Tyneside, around 10,000 homes and businesses are set to benefit from the £34m Digital Durham programme.

Tynemouth MP Alan Campbell said: “This is great news, especially for the many businesses in this central part of North Shields that will benefit greatly from better connectivity.

“This welcome investment in faster broadband speeds is good for business, good for the local community and good for the local economy.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have been able to take the first step on our journey to providing the borough with superfast broadband.

“We have listened to residents and businesses who have been saying for a long time they need faster internet speeds.

“Practically everywhere in North Tyneside will eventually be able to take advantage of this technology, which will mean we’ll have one of the best rates of coverage in the whole country.”

Creative digital agency Cargo Creative, which moved to Northumberland Square last year, is looking forward to faster broadband speeds.

Founder Paul Hart said: “Fibre will help to re-generate the centre of North Shields by helping to retain firms like ours and also attracting new business to the area.”

Simon Roberson, BT’s regional partnership director for the North East, said: “From children doing their homework to caring for our elderly population and from social media to e-commerce and home entertainment – fast broadband is the critical enabler.

“Fibre is no longer a nice to have for business. It is a need to have.

“To compete effectively in this world of technology you need to be able to move, act and do business quickly and effectively. Faster broadband breaks down the barriers to doing business in the digital world like online trading, which helps to empower our small businesses.

“I would encourage those who can already access fibre-based broadband to contact their service provider to arrange an upgrade.”

Another local business enthusiastic about the arrival of fibre broadband is web development company, Wubbleyou.

Director Mark Renney said: “It’s essential we have fast and reliable broadband to compete effectively. This is a huge win for us and for other businesses in North Shields who will undoubtedly welcome fibre with open arms.”