IT, telecoms and infrastructure consultancy FarrPoint has provided vital consultancy services that has led to successful bids to fund full-fibre connectivity in the Highland Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) regions, with a combined value of £28.5 million.
The authorities were awarded the funding by the Government in the Chancellor’s spring statement as part of the £190M Challenge Fund to promote the roll out of full-fibre to local areas.
Andrew Muir, CEO and co-founder of FarrPoint, said: “This is a great result for both of the local authorities and their business communities, and we are proud to have played a part in this. The funding is designed to provide the fastest, most reliable broadband to more businesses and homes across each region. Connectivity is already key to enabling public sector smart initiatives and allowing the public and businesses to take advantage of the capabilities that Gigabit connectivity brings. This demand for access will only increase and this funding will play a vital role in making sure that the deployment of gigabit-capable full fibre infrastructure is commercially viable and in place.
Highland Council were awarded £4.7 million and GMCA received £23.8 million, the single largest amount granted to any region. The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) secured the major partnership bid to the UK Government’s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme for £4.7m funding for the region.
Muir continued: “In the Highlands this funding will provide increased fibre footprint in the most northerly and largest mainland local authority area in the UK, improving the economic viability of the area and stimulating productivity, efficiency and innovation – allowing local businesses to thrive. The funding in Manchester will see more than 1,500 public sector locations connecting to the new digital infrastructure. Connected premises in both areas will include doctor’s surgeries, schools and local government offices. In turn this will drive further investment in Gigabit connectivity and provide the basis for the roll out of innovations such as IoT and 5G technology.”
FarrPoint, founded in Edinburgh over 10 years ago, already has an office in London and recently opened a new office in Manchester, appointing two new consultants based in Manchester and Newcastle to represent its activity in the North of England.
FarrPoint worked closely with law firm Hill Dickson and commercial consultants Cube Ultra on the successful bids, alongside the internal procurement, commercial and economic teams within each authority. The firm has a long record of expertise in tendering and procurement for connectivity and technology solutions, working with the Scottish Government, the NHS and many city and county councils throughout the UK.