Project Access, a £20m scheme to supply broadband and fast internet connections across Cumbria has been hailed a success, with 99.8 per cent of businesses and citizens across the sub-region now enjoying access to the high-speed internet technology.
Launched in 2004 by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Project Access was developed to promote the business benefits of broadband and increase its take-up across the area.
This included the creation of a high-speed network for both public and private sectors, addressing the digital divide that had previously disadvantaged Cumbria and North Lancashire.
Final figures show that 16,612 businesses now have a broadband connection, representing 71.1 per cent of the total number of businesses in Cumbria and parts of North Lancashire. The business take-up of broadband before the project was just seven per cent.
30 per cent of Cumbrian businesses believe that since adopting broadband their number and range of customers has increased, while 24 per cent of businesses within the region believe that broadband has directly made their businesses more profitable.