A production company has been one of the first to benefit from a voucher campaign aimed at making Newcastle the most super-connected city in the UK.
The free £3,000 connection voucher, from Go Digital Newcastle, is paying for Re:production Ltd to install superfast broadband at its new headquarters at Newcastle Business Park.
Go Digital Newcastle, which is being run by Newcastle City Council, is rolling superfast broadband out across 97% of the city by summer 2015.
The campaign provides eligible businesses with vouchers worth up to £3,000 towards the cost of getting a high speed internet connection, free business support and up to £2,000 towards the cost of equipment.
Phil Greenwood, Re:production managing partner, says faster broadband speeds will make a tremendous difference to his company, which was previously finding slow upload speeds a serious drag.
“Our broadband speed was previously so slow that even half a gig took an age to upload,” he said.
“We used to try to send files at night because they took so long.
“We work with files that can be two or three gigabytes in size – and we need to be able to download video rushes of up to 100 gigabytes, so superfast broadband is a gift.”
The new speeds mean Re:production will be able to send its large files in just two to three minutes, giving the company more time to work on other tasks.
The company makes TV commercials and corporate videos for the likes of Dreams, Barker and Stonehouse, Centre for Life, Metrocentre and Eldon Square.
Greenwood added: “We applied to Go Digital Newcastle, found we fitted the criteria, and because we needed a line installed, we were able to access the full £3,000 of funding.”
Quicker broadband will make a huge difference to the way his team works, saving time, money and a lot of frustration.
“We’ll now be able to send out in minutes station broadcast copies that used to take a while – which is important when you consider we might need to send out a hundred at once,” Greenwood said, adding that he recommended other local businesses apply.
“We set up more than three years ago, and it’s the first funding we’ve ever received,” he said.
The Go Digital Newcastle team has also called on more companies in the city to make their own connection voucher applications as soon as possible.
Project director Lisa Clark said: “Go Digital Newcastle is getting lots of interest in the scheme and because funding is limited, we’re encouraging companies to act quickly so they don’t miss out.”
Go Digital Newcastle is jointly funded by Newcastle City Council and the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is the managing authority for the programme, one of those established by the European Commission to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects that will support businesses and create jobs.
An information event will be held at Toffee Factory, Ouseburn, on Thursday, May 29, from 2pm to 5pm. To book a place or request details, visit www.godigitalnewcastle.co.uk