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Broadband project wants 93% online by end of 2015

The scheme hopes that by the end of 2015 93 % of the homes and businesses will have access to super fast fibre optic broadband. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A scheme to get rural areas connected to super fast broadband in Cumbria is celebrating getting 50,000 homes and businesses online in 12 months. Connecting Cumbria - a partnership between Cumbria County Council and BT - is spending £51 million pounds on rural connectivity.

The project is there to fill in the gaps that BT's national Open Reach rollout won't reach.

At the end of next year, it's hoped that 93% of the 251,000 homes and businesses will have access to super fast fibre optic broadband. But it will mean that 7% or nearly 20,000 homes and business will still be without access to super fast broadband.

Cumbria County Council say that they are currently negotiating funding for a phase 2 part of the Connecting Cumbria project that would see another 5% of households in the county with access to high speed broadband. It's a scheme that could take an additional 18 months to complete.

Councillor David Southward, Cumbria County Council's Cabinet member responsible for economic development and the lead member for Connecting Cumbria and ERDF funding, said:

"All the hard work is paying off, with thousands upon thousands of households and businesses now being given the opportunity to upgrade their broadband to a faster fibre service that wouldn't have been there without the work of Connecting Cumbria. For some, the 'old' service has been sufficient and they haven't felt the need to upgrade so far, but this work in building a new fibre network is helping to future proof the county's needs so that the capacity is there as demand increases. Many people are finding that they can upgrade to fibre for little or no extra cost, and I'd urge everyone to shop around and get the best deals rather than paying over the odds for a slower service."

– Councillor David Southward Cumbria County Council's Cabinet

Connecting Cumbria celebrates first year

93% of Cumbrian houses should have broadband by the end of next year Credit: ITV Border

Cumbria is celebrating its first year since introducing high speed internet to the county.

The project Connecting Cumbria switched on the service at the village of Yanwath near Penrith last year.

The project hopes 93 percent of Cumbrian houses will have access to the service by the end of 2015.

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Regeneration disturbs the waters in Stranraer

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved plans that will see Stranraer benefit from almost half a million pounds of funding.

The money was saved after the new slip way at the harbour came in under budget.

But concerns have been raised that the public haven't been listened to, when considering the best way forwards for Stranraer's regeneration.

Fiona McIlwraith has this report.

Stranraer savings: where should the money go?

Stranraer's slip way cost less than expected, and councillors are discussing whether to spend the £500,000 savings on the town.

They're asking the public where they think the money should go.

"I would like to see some of the money spent on dredging the whole of the harbour and then working from there, with that as a blueprint."

– Ronnie Bowie, business owner

Boat hoist could 'cut off' fishermen

Developments at Stranraer Harbour are not popular with everyone Credit: ITV Border

Willie Scobie, Councillor for Stranraer and North Rhins, says a new boat hoist could cut off access to the harbour.

"The boat hoist is going to cut off, or has the potential to cut off access to the harbour for fishermen but really there has been no economic profile on this, we don't know just exactly how often this boat hoist is going to be used."

– Cllr Willie Scobie

Stranraer slip way saves £500,000

Money saved from building a slip way in Stranraer could go towards the regeneration of the town.

Councillors will discuss today whether to inject the money back into the local community.

Over £490,000 has been saved by putting in a smaller slipway and a boat lift, the public will be asked their views on how the money should be spent.

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Milk price cut is down to 'surplus'

A 3p per litre cut was announced by First Milk, which comes into force from today, Wednesday 1st October. Credit: Arno Burgi/DPA/Press Association Images

A milk processor says a cut in the price of milk for farmers is due to high levels of milk production and a weaker demand for dairy products.

Muller Wiseman is the latest company to cut its November milk price.

Its suppliers will now be paid 27.1p per litre, down 1.9p per litre.

It follows cuts from other milk processors.

A 3p per litre cut was announced by First Milk, which comes into force from today, Wednesday 1st October.

Muller UK say their latest price drop for suppliers results from "significantly lower returns from Müller’s sales of cream, butter and surplus milk which is not required to meet customer obligations."

Six fire crews tackle farm blaze

Six fire crews from across the region were called to the blaze Credit: ITV Border

Investigations are continuing after a hay barn was badly damaged by a fire in Cotehill near Carlisle.

Six fire crews from across the region were called to the blaze, which broke out yesterday afternoon at the farm.

Flames could be seen from up to a mile away from the site. The incident is not being treated as suspicious and no one was hurt.

The fire happened on a farm near in Cotehill, Carlisle. Credit: ITV Border

£200,000 boost to D&G events

Dizzee Rascal and Scottish favourites del Amitri performed at this year's Wickerman festival Credit: ITV Border

£200,000 will be available to boost festivals in Dumfries and Galloway.

The council have announced that the money will go towards ensuring there is something going on in the region all year round.

Already the area is home to a lot of successful events.

"We've got a number of events and festivals that take place that really put the region on the map, the Wickerman Festival, the Wigtown Book Festival, we had the Lockerbie Jazz Festival recently, there's a huge range of things taking place right across Dumfries and Galloway and I think more and more people are starting to realise the region is a really good place to visit if you want to go to major events and major festivals."

– Colin Smyth Dumfries & Galloway Council

50 new jobs for Gretna Gateway expansion

The retail village draws more than two million shoppers annually Credit: ITV Border

Fifty new jobs are due to be created with the expansion of Gretna's Gateway retail village.

The announcement comes after one of the most successful summers in the outlet's history.

Glasgow's Commonwealth Games saw Gretna Gateway's busiest ever week at the end of July, as tourists and residents flocked to the park.

The retail village currently welcomes more than two million visitors every year.

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