Our dedicated team are on hand to support growing businesses in Mid and East Antrim.
The UK Government’s ambition is to deliver nationwide gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible. The Department for the Economy (DfE) recognises that there is a need for Government intervention in the parts of Northern Ireland that are not commercially viable. The UK government has committed £5 billion for the hardest to reach parts of the country, ensuring that all areas of the UK can benefit. This will be spent through a package of coordinated and mutually supportive interventions, collectively known as Project Gigabit.
As part of this, DfE is working in partnership with Building Digital UK (BDUK), an Executive Agency within the Department for Innovation, Science and Technology, to develop a procurement approach for funding contracts to suppliers delivering gigabit-capable wholesale infrastructure. BDUK will be allocating the entire capital funding requirement for Project Gigabit NI, with DfE, as the Contracting Authority, managing local project delivery requirements. The procurement approach for Project Gigabit NI will be a successor to the transformational Superfast broadband programme, including Project Stratum.
Our goal is to ensure we target the parts of Northern Ireland that need Government support. A key step in this ambition is to identify areas which will be left out because they are not commercially viable.
In December 2022 DfE launched an Open Market Review (OMR) Request for Information (RFI) to establish existing and planned coverage of broadband services within the geographic area outlined in the Public Review documentation over the next three years (and beyond, if available). DfE sought responses from all existing and prospective broadband infrastructure suppliers that operate, or are planning to operate, within Northern Ireland.
DfE has assessed the industry’s responses to the OMR and is now conducting a Public Review (PR) to validate the results of the OMR, including seeking validation of the eligibility of the premises for subsidy. The Public Review seeks information about current broadband network coverage and any future plans to roll out broadband infrastructure, particularly within the next three years. The PR will be open for feedback from any interested stakeholders and will run for one calendar month. When completed, DfE will confirm the eligibility of the premises for procurement(s) and will publish an Outcome Report outlining postcode level maps of the final Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) which have been designated as ‘white’ and eligible for subsidy under the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy scheme.
DfE has published a Request for Information that can be read on DfE’s website and is also providing an online address checking facility at their Project Gigabit NI - Open Market Review page to allow the public, business and anyone interested in the Public Review to see how DfE has currently categorised addresses, as well as contact details to provide feedback to DfE.
The outcome of the Public Review will inform the procurement(s) that DfE will take forward and further information will be made available on the DfE website in the coming months following the conclusion of this Public Review.
Exciting new programme launching on 1 April 2023
Grow your business with expert one-to-one mentoring and support*
We are here to help your business access the expertise and knowledge required to develop and grow.
Free support is available across a range of areas including:
- Strategic Growth
- HR & Staff Development
- Financial Management
- Sales and Marketing
- ICT / E-Commerce
- Leadership and Management
- Customer Experience Management
- Business Planning
- Digital Marketing
- Business Operations
Enquire now to access FREE specialist support tailored to your specific business needs:
Business must be based within the area of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
Have less than 50 employees
Unable to access existing business support
Let us help you to navigate through the array of business support out there, to find the right fit for you.
Council’s Business Client Managers can meet with you to confidentially carry out a business diagnostic and make recommendations and introductions to wider supports in the marketplace.
Mid and East Antrim Food & Drink Network
Agri-food businesses have enjoyed practical workshops, best practice visits, mentoring support as well as visits and sessions from key industry experts through support provided by the Mid & East Antrim Food & Drink Network.
Council are keen to hear from local food and drink producers interested in becoming involved in future activities of the network.
To register your interest in the food and drink network email: Mary.OBoyle@midandeastantrim.gov.uk
To enquire about support on any of these programmes by signing up via the Amplify portal.
The Digital Surge Programme is a NI-wide programme, part-funded by all 11 local authorities.
The programme will help you embark on your digital transformation journey.
- 2 half-day workshops on the fundamentals of digital transformation and innovation
- A diagnostic report outlining an innovation and digital transformation plan for your organisation produced by an innovation consultant
- Masterclass workshops to showcase the advanced technologies such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Data Analytics, Virtual Reality / Immersive Tech and Robotics
- 6 days of mentoring support from advanced technology experts
- A digital acceleration plan produced for your organisation
- Routing to more intensive supports and funding
Free Workshops and Showcases
Any small enterprise or social enterprise can avail of the free workshops without taking part in the Digital Surge Programme.
- Innovation Workshops (conveying the fundamentals of innovation and digital transformation)
- Advanced Technology Showcases (Demonstrating the art of the possible and demystifying the technologies)
Why take part?
In today’s world, businesses that recognise the role technology can play in enabling their strategy will certainly increase their growth potential.
Our advanced technology experts will provide the support you need to discover how to fundamentally change how you operate and deliver value to your customers.
Find out how to use advanced technologies to:
- Increase efficiencies
- Improve productivity
- Get data-driven insights
- Increase partnerships
- Gain a competitive edge
- Accelerate growth
Who is the Digital Surge programme for?
This FULLY FUNDED programme is for eligible organisations from any sector including manufacturing, tradeable services, retail, tourism, hospitality, agriculture, construction and social enterprises.
You just need to open your mind to how advanced technologies can pivot your business model!
To join this programme your organisation must:
- be an enterprise or social enterprise based in NI
- have less than 50 employees
- not be an Invest NI client (or have approval from your Invest NI client representative to participate in the programme)
- require specialist support to embark on a "digital transformation journey"
- not be able to access similar support from existing economic development stakeholders
- be able to confirm that the Digital Surge mentoring will not take them over the State Aid de minimis ceiling of €200,000 over the current and two previous fiscal years, or if applicable, the £315,000 Minimal Financial Assistance contribution