Broadband funding bid

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COUNTY Durham could be set to hit the fast lane of the information superhighway.

Council chiefs hope to secure almost £8million of Government cash within the next few weeks with a view to extending the superfast broadband network into the county’s rural areas.

The council is bidding for a £7.9million grant which would fund the extension of a 24-megabit per second service into remote and isolated areas, bringing them in line with speeds available in urban areas.

Don McClure, the council’s corporate director of resources, said he was confident of tying up the cash in the next few weeks,

If the bid is successful, the council will pump a further £2million of its own money into the project.

Council leader Simon Hennig believes the success of the project is critical for the country’s fututre.

Durham is not the only county set to benefit, with North Yorkshire in line to receive £17.84million and Tyne and Wear £3.42 million.