24/05/2018 - Permalink

New £25,000 grant provides ultrafast broadband connection for Shropshire business

Related topics: Partner organisations

News from our partners Fastershire

Gwaza Ltd will soon become the first business in the Shropshire Council area to benefit from a dedicated grant, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Shropshire Council. The £25,000 grant from the Marches & Gloucestershire Broadband Grant scheme will provide Gwaza with access to ultrafast broadband.

Gwaza was founded by John Price in 1967 primarily as an electric fencing manufacturer, known as Salop Fencing Ltd. The company expanded into gate and general steel fabrication serving the agricultural, automotive and industrial sectors. As their distribution into the aftermarket for engineers, agricultural dealers and retailers developed, the company was re-branded as Gwaza Ltd.

Gwaza Ltd

Gwaza Ltd

CommsCo have been selected by Gwaza to install a dedicated service of 300 Megabits per second both download and upload, which will significantly enhance the company’s digital capability.

Managing Director Victor Edwards highlighted the key benefits the new service will bring:

“Our IT focus is yielding growth that is outstripping the currently available Internet infrastructure. In recent years Gwaza has invested heavily in technology to streamline and expand our business. We have our own B2B website, catalogue, product information, and ordering portal, providing web shops and ordering portals for a small number of dealers.

“This has led to trialing customer order processing systems which are offered to the dealer to allow them to pass through orders direct from their online platforms. We are also trialing remote warehouses in Europe, operated by our dealers. The dealers also utilise online systems to manage stock, process orders, request deliveries etc. so our broadband infrastructure is crucial.

“Currently Gwaza is fortunate that many of their customers access their website and order portals outside of normal business hours, in a bid to avoid congested Internet traffic. By having access to an ultrafast synchronised service Gwaza customers will be able to order on demand, significantly improving the customer experience and ensuring next day delivery targets.

“To accommodate the increased level of order fulfilment, Gwaza anticipates hiring additional staff once the new systems are embedded and new customers are attracted. In time, Gwaza anticipates needing to invest further in their warehouse and packing facilities to accommodate the increase in demand.”

Nav Mohammed Technical Director from CommsCo said:-

“Upon initial engagement with Gwaza, it became apparent that they required an ultrafast connection due to the nature of their business and bandwidth required for effective operation. Gwaza also needed a find a solution that would provide bandwidth expansion to allow for continued growth.”

A dedicated Fibre to the Premises connection was identified as the most reliable and economically viable technology solution to fulfil the customer requirement.

Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, commented:

“It’s great to see a Shropshire business benefitting from this grant scheme, which can fund up to 100% of the cost of installing a superfast broadband connection. I would encourage any business or business park owner struggling with broadband connectivity to investigate their eligibility for one of these grants, which are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

“You might be surprised to hear that the Marches & Gloucestershire Broadband Grant scheme is under-subscribed and the last thing we want is to have to hand money back to Europe at the end of the project. The clock is ticking and all grant applications must be submitted by the end of December 2018.”

The Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant gives eligible businesses up to £25,000 to fund the installation of a superfast broadband connection.

If you run a business which cannot access speeds of over 30Mbps, and you are not already part of any current superfast broadband rollout plans, then you could be eligible for a grant.

Businesses wishing to find out more, please go to the following page on the Connecting Shropshire website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/business-broadband-grant/
Registering for the grant is a simple and easy process, but all applications for the grant must be completed before December 2018.

Businesses can also benefit from further business support through the Marches Growth Hub and get access to free support from a Business Adviser. For more information, go to: https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/about-us/shropshire/


Dawn Thompson, Fastershire Communications Lead, email: dawn.thompson@herefordshire.gov.uk

Further information

About Fastershire

Fastershire is a partnership between Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council to overcome the market’s failure to provide high speed broadband across both counties. It uses funding from central government’s Broadband Delivery UK matched by the local authorities, ERDF, EAFRD and the Marches LEP

  • Phase 1 of the project enabled 83% of premises in Herefordshire, and 82% in Gloucestershire, with access to speeds of 30Mbps or over. This coverage has been achieved through commercial investment and a project contract delivered by BT Group.
  • Phase 2 of the project it is expected to increase coverage in Herefordshire to 95%, and 97% in Gloucestershire through a contract with Gigaclear and BT Group.
  • The project’s vision is that “by the end of 2019/20 all residents and businesses in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will be able to order the broadband service they need, and a high percentage will be using faster broadband to do more online, boost business growth and achieve their potential.”
  • The project has developed a strategy http://www.fastershire.com/about-fastershire/strategy which outlines the approach adopted.

About Connecting Shropshire

The Connecting Shropshire programme is bringing superfast broadband (with a download speed of at least 30mbps) to parts of the Shropshire Council area where it isn’t economically viable for commercial companies to do so.

Since 2013, Connecting Shropshire has provided over 56,000 premises in the Shropshire Council area with access to a superfast broadband connection.

More information is available on the Connecting Shropshire programme website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race.  The Government:

  • is supporting investment to provide superfast broadband coverage to as many premises as possible beyond the 95% level achieved in December 2017
  • is also introducing a broadband Universal Service Obligation so that by 2020 everyone across the UK will have a clear, enforceable right to request high speed broadband
  • has provided access to basic broadband (2Mbps) for all for those who do not currently have coverage otherwise
  • is supporting investment to stimulate private investment in full fibre connections by 2021.

Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life. For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk