Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
£250,000 boost for broadband in conference centres
Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow launches competition to boost broadband facilities in conference centres across the UK
- he competition is part of the UK Government’s Tourism Sector Deal
- Investment will help to boost the £32 billion business events sector
Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow has launched a competition for conference centres across the UK to apply for funding to improve broadband infrastructure with the aim of hosting more international conferences at UK venues.
The £250,000 funding will be awarded to venues across the UK to support the improvement of on-site broadband facilities and help them attract more international business events.
Applications for funding will be open to event venues with conference facilities, including hotels and event centres, that bid for - or plan to bid for - events which attract international delegates.
Winners will be able to upgrade their existing connectivity to full fibre broadband which will support faster data speeds and higher usage volumes. This forms part of the Government’s commitment to rollout the required digital infrastructure to create more opportunities for businesses. Conference venues will be able to offer more interactive content, and organisers can live stream the events to international audiences.
Tourism Minister Rebecca Pow said:
We want the UK to attract the biggest and best international business events to help grow our economy and encourage trade and investment. Ensuring our conference facilities can deliver the connectivity and facilities organisers want and need is crucial to help achieve this and there is a great deal of scope to expand this area.
Our Tourism Sector Deal is providing a broadband boost to the country’s business events industry, and I would encourage all eligible venues to apply.”
In 2017, the UK hosted 592 international association meetings with business visitors making up almost a quarter of the 38 million visits to the UK in 2018 and providing a boost to visitor numbers during the off peak season. The sector is currently worth £32.6 billion to the UK economy with delegates spending £4.5 billion and more than half returning as leisure visitors.
This investment, part of the UK Government’s Tourism Sector Deal, will help to attract more business visits and events by making destinations across the UK more attractive to international event organisers.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Building Digital UK scheme has already boosted the broadband capacity at more than 60 hotels through the Gigabit voucher scheme.
Michael Hirst, Chair of the Events Industry Board said:
The business events industry welcomes the UK government’s new £250,000 competition to improve broadband connectivity in event venues. This is a strong recognition of the importance of helping to support the growth of first class infrastructure in Britain’s large range of diverse world class business event facilities. It will help immensely in continuing to present Britain as a leading global destination for business events.
To be eligible, venues must have capacity for more than 400 delegates, have hosted at least one international event in the last year where a third of attendees were from outside the UK, or be able to demonstrate plans to do so in the next year.
The funding is part of the UK Government’s Tourism Sector Deal which sets out how we will work with the sector to grow the country’s tourism industry and to ensure we have the infrastructure to cope with the predicted growth in international business and leisure visitors.
Notes to editors:
- Further information on the scheme and application forms can be found here.
- By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional 9 million visitors to the UK each year.
- Trade conducted at international business is estimated to be worth over £150 billion annually.
Latest News from
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Hundreds of students to take youth work qualifications after new government investment12/09/2019 15:43:00
Hundreds of students will be able to pursue careers as youth workers through a new £500,000 bursary fund, Minister for Civil Society Baroness Barran announced today.
Proposed reforms to permitted development rights to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage29/08/2019 12:12:00
This consultation seeks views on the principle of amending permitted development rights to support deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage.
£30m to spark rollout of next generation 5G in rural areas and help countryside capitalise on tech revolution28/08/2019 10:10:10
New competition launched to test groundbreaking 5G applications in rural areas, alongside proposed planning reforms to improve and extend mobile coverage
Our tech sector has already attracted more foreign investment this year than it did for the whole of 2018: article by Nicky Morgan22/08/2019 09:25:00
Writing in The Telegraph, the Digital Secretary celebrates the record-breaking levels of investment into the UK's tech sector (21 August 2019).
Arts Minister stops export of Pre-Raphaelite work16/08/2019 15:10:00
£9.5 million work by founder of Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood John Everett Millais is now at risk of permanently leaving the UK
New boost to increase diversity in nation’s cyber security industry14/08/2019 15:05:00
Delivery lead appointed to set up the new UK Cyber Security Council and latest round of Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund launched
Prime Minister confirms Tate trustee appointment and reappointment13/08/2019 14:10:00
The Prime Minister has reappointed Tim Davie as a Trustee, and appointed Farooq Chaudhry as Artist Trustee, at the Tate
Spellbinding Monet work worth £28 million at risk of being lost09/08/2019 16:15:00
Monet’s 1908 work ‘Le Palais Ducal’ is at risk of being lost abroad unless a UK buyer can be found