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Extension of the Full-Fibre Broadband rollout in Essex to reach rural and hard to reach premises


Approval Status


Fully Approved

Delivery Status


GBF Project Delivered

Project Completion Date


Summer 2023

​Project to deploy ultrafast broadband for rural premises in Essex, extending the currently ongoing Superfast Essex Phase 4b rollout programme. Potential for economic activity in these areas is substantial. Demand for fast broadband services is nearly 15% higher in these rural areas than the average for Essex. The project will implement fast deployment and maximise the capacity of the current delivery arrangements by adding as much scope as possible within the existing live rollout contracts. This project complements other Essex broadband projects currently in progress or being planned and mechanisms are in place to ensure there is no scope overlap between these projects.

Project objectives

Objective 1: expand access to superfast broadband connectivity to as many of the remaining unserved areas of Essex as possible within the available funding, working towards 99% coverage.

Objective 2: drive the installation of full-fibre internet connections as soon as possible, in line with the ambitious government target to reach 95% of the UK by 2025.

Objective 3: Kickstart business recovery: fast internet connectivity will be a cornerstone of the economic recovery post COVID-19 and opportunities presented by the spike in take-up of online trading, learning and customer engagement platforms require further infrastructure improvements to as many premises as possible as soon as possible.

It is expected that the project will help to create 300 jobs.

At the 19 November 2021 Accountability Board meeting it was agreed that the project met the conditions and criteria for the retention of GBF funding beyond the 31 March 2022 for a maximum period of 12 months. This is subject to Strategic Board. endorsement at its meeting in December 2021.

Award of additional GBF funding

A new GBF prioritised pipeline was established to support projects experiencing cost increases due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit or due to high inflation levels, or seeking to extend the original project to support further phases of an existing project was agreed by the Strategic Board in October 2022.

The project was included on the new GBF projects pipeline and the award of an additional £359,074 GBF was approved by the Accountability Board on 25 November 2022.

At the Accountability Board meeting on 27 January 2023 a further £118,182 GBF was allocated to the Project. Further, at the 13 April 2023 Accountability Board meeting it was agreed that GBF can be retained against the project until 30 June 2023.

Project Outputs/Outcomes
Jobs created 300
Jobs Safeguarded 1,500
Businesses Assisted 300
New super/ultrafast broadband connections 1,500

£85m of investment to East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock

The Getting Building Fund focuses on projects that can progress quickly and that will stimulate and better integrate economies in some of the most economically impacted and COVID-affected parts of the South East.

£85m of Getting Building Fund investment has been secured, enabling delivery of 45 projects across East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend and Thurrock.

Find out more here

Funding value: £2,297,256
Total Project cost: £2,897,074
Return to Capital Investment