Month: April 2015

Connecting Cheshire serves up superfast boost for business

Businesses in Cheshire East can take advantage of two schemes to help them reap the benefits of superfast broadband. Small and medium-sized businesses could get grants of up to £3,000 to upgrade to a superfast or ultrafast broadband connection through the Connection Voucher Scheme, which is available at 31 business parks and estates in the Borough.

And eligible businesses have until May 1, 2015 to register for the free Superfast Business programme to receive 12 hours of expert business support on topics such as social media and purchasing the most appropriate business software.

The Connection Voucher Scheme, run as a partnership between Cheshire East Council and Manchester City Council, provides grants of up to £3,000 to cover the capital and equipment costs of upgrading a broadband connection. Funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the scheme brings the very fastest internet speeds within the reach of smaller organisations.

The process is simple and straightforward. After receiving a voucher, companies only have to pay VAT, anything over £3,000 and the monthly subscription fee for their new broadband connection. A voucher can be claimed by an individual organisation, or several can apply as a group, through a landlord or agent. For more information and to check availability visit

The Connecting Cheshire Superfast Business Programme has provided over 10,000 hours of free support to more than 600 companies in Cheshire and Warrington since its launch in 2013.

It offers free workshops, masterclasses and one-to-one consultations from industry experts to help businesses get the most out of digital technology. For more information visit:, email or call 0300 123 1696.

Julian Cobley, Head of Investment at Cheshire East Council: “The businesses that have taken advantage of the support available to them are already predicting growth that would boost the Cheshire and Warrington economy by more than £2m.

“With the addition of Connection Voucher scheme, we’re delighted to be extending the range of support available to businesses through the Connecting Cheshire project.”

Connecting Cheshire serves up superfast boost for business [PDF – 194kb]

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Connecting Cheshire trials rural mobile phone booster and charging cabinets

Following the purchase of EE, BT is set to trial specially adapted mobile booster and charging cabinets in rural areas across Cheshire.

By modifying existing fibre broadband cabinets installed by the Connecting Cheshire Partnership to contain mobile phone booster and charging technology, the cabinets will provide much-needed benefits to rural areas. Known as B-EE-T Boxes they will incorporate induction charging technology so that smartphones can be charged wirelessly on the cabinet tops by passing walkers or hikers. Wireless charging – also known as induction charging – powers up mobile devices by using an electromagnetic field to transfer energy.

Footnote: We hope you enjoyed our April Fool. Although who knows, this could be a reality one day in the future!

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