Borderlands to receive 5G connectivity boost with £3.8 million funding plug

It is hoped the scheme will boost the local economy and improve the delivery of public services. Credit: Destination Tweed/Tweed Forum

5G coverage in the South of Scotland and North East of England is to be boosted by a £3.8 million funding plug.

The Borderlands has been selected as part of the Government's £36 million scheme to enhance digital infrastructures across ten regions.

The successful 5G bid was submitted by the Borderlands Partnership, which comprises five local authorities in England and Scotland - Cumberland Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council and Westmorland and Furness Council.

The area will now become a 5G Innovation Region, which will allow it to adopt more advanced wireless technologies.

By providing residents and businesses with faster, more reliable and secure connectivity it is hoped the scheme will boost the local economy and improve the delivery of public services.

The partnership hopes the scheme will increase job and business opportunities, attracting more people to live, work and visit the region. Credit: ITV Border

Councillor Mark Fryer, leader of Cumberland Council and Borderlands Partnership co-chair,said: “The Borderlands is world renowned as a tourist destination but historically haslacked digital connectivity to enable people to make the most of their visit and for allour communities to gain the most benefit from these visitors.

“We have ambitions of region-wide connectivity which will seamlessly support accessto community and visitor information, wayfinding, highlight areas of congestion andencourage visitors to explore the hidden parts of our region.

“Advanced wireless technology can enhance how we tell the story of Borderlandscommunities, building the tourist economy whilst protecting our environment and localassets.”

The new technology will be integrated at five sites around the region, including Kielder Castle and Forest. Credit: PA

The new technology will be integrated at five sites around the region:

  • Windermere 5G Ferry

  • Kielder Castle and Forest

  • Stranraer Marina

  • The Sill @ Hadrian’s Wall

  • Destination Tweed

The Government are encouraging communities across the UK to take full advantage of the "transformative effect that advanced wireless connectivity and digital technologies" can have on various industries.

They suggest drones could be used to monitor crops and livestock, smart systems could reduce congestion, and portable 5G networks will enable access to super-fast live broadcasts from remote locations.

The strategy forms part of the UK Government’s wider ambition to drive telecom innovation, ensuring more secure and resilient networks and a more diverse and competitive supply chain.

The 5G Innovation Regions programme supports the implementation of the Government’s UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy. Credit: ITV

Sir John Whittingdale, Minister of Data and Digital Infrastructure, said: "We’re channelling millions into local areas to unlock the potential of cutting-edge 5G wireless and digital technologies which will reshape our public services, drive economic growth and boost innovation.

"This new fund will give local areas from across the country the opportunity to be at the forefront of Britain’s world-leading 5G revolution.

“For instance, by using 5G for farming and creating science parks, we're not just helping local communities, but also encouraging new ideas all over the UK.

"This is more than just linking smartphones. It's about using powerful digital connections to transform various sectors in the economy and the public sector throughout the entire country.”

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