Minister hears plans to improve Mid Sussex’s digital infrastructure

Sir Nicholas Soames, minister Margot James and Jonathan Ash-Edwards
Sir Nicholas Soames, minister Margot James and Jonathan Ash-Edwards

The work being done in Mid Sussex to roll out full fibre digital infrastructure was backed by a Government minister on a visit to Haywards Heath earlier this month.

Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries, received an update on two projects to boost digital connectivity which have received enthusiastic support from the Government.

A total of £2.2 million has been secured by Mid Sussex District Council to install a full fibre network in Burgess Hill as part of the holistic growth of the town.

This will ensure that new homes in the Northern Arc development will have fibre to the property as well as installing high speed connections to new business parks.

The infrastructure will also bring thousands of households within close reach of a connection, making it easier for private providers to connect homes.

Councils across West Sussex have also won the Government’s agreement to retain some business rates revenue in 2019/20 which will be pooled to create a full fibre network across the county.

This funding could reach £19 million. Part of this network will run down the Brighton Mainline, allowing connections to be taken into towns and villages throughout the Mid Sussex district.

Sir Nicholas said: “I am very grateful to the minister for taking the time to visit Mid Sussex and to hear how the investment in infrastructure being made by the Government is being delivered by our local council.

“The minister was very impressed by the work being done by the council to make this happen quickly. Improving access to full fibre infrastructure will be a big boost to our local economy and people’s everyday lives.”

Jonathan Ash-Edwards, deputy leader of the Conservative Group at MSDC, added: “Mid Sussex is about to see the biggest upgrade in its infrastructure for a generation and these investments in full fibre connectivity are a key part of the package.

“In the modern day and age, a reliable high speed connection is essential for work, entertainment and business.

“Bringing a full fibre network to Mid Sussex will allow more towns and villages to be connected and stimulate the market so that private providers invest as well.”