Grants are available to help co-fund your community fibre. For example, some communities have used grants from the Government, wind farms, Calor Gas and BT Group.
The Government has launched a Gigabit Voucher Scheme to provide vouchers (grants) worth up to £3000 for a small or medium sized business (SME) or £500 to residents to help with the costs of connecting to full fibre broadband. If you're an SME or if there's one in your community, see if you're eligible to apply.
The only way residents can benefit from the Government's voucher scheme is as part of a local community group scheme, which must also include small businesses. Residents and businesses taking part in a group scheme can join together to pool the value of their vouchers.
BT Group dedicated £2m to award as grants to communities with a school or charity to enable super-fast, or ultrafast access in the classroom as well as at home and in the community. Applications for this grant are now closed as the funding is all currently allocated.
Communities in the UK with a school or charity receiving speeds of less than 30Mbps could apply for a grant to cover three quarters of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000. So, for example, if the cost for a so called 'gap-funded' solution that serves a school has been quoted as £40,000, the community would pay £10,000 and £30,000 would be funded from the grant.
BT Group grant information:
- Eligibility: the grant is available to UK communities where their Openreach proposal for a new co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school or registered charity that has broadband speeds below 30Mbps
- Level of award: the grant will cover three quarters of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000. So for example, if the cost for a gap funded solution that serves a school or charity has been quoted as £40,000, the community would pay £10,000 and £30,000 would be funded from the grant.
- Period of award: Grants are made subject to a contract being signed within three months of the date of the offer letter.
- Running time: The grant is open for applications from 28 June 2016 to the point that the £2m fund has been exhausted. Grants are conditional on the community raising all of their required funding for their fibre solution.
- Grants will be made on a 'first come, first served' basis until the funding is exhausted.
Please see the set of FAQs about eligibility for the BT Group grant, if you've a school or registered charity in your community
Read more about fibre partnerships for communities with schools