Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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£100m for superfast broadband, £10m increase for lifetime giving and simplifying heritage protection
The 2011 Autumn Statement was yesterday made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
The Statement provides an update on the Government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility.
£100 million superfast broadband investment
The Government will invest £100 million to create up to ten ‘super-connected cities’ across the UK, with 80-100 megabits per second broadband and city-wide high-speed mobile connectivity. There will be a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and strategic employment zones to support economic growth. Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London will all receive support from this fund, and a UK-wide competition will decide up to six further cities that will also receive funding.
Telegraph poles consultation
A consultation into allowing new telegraph poles to be put up to carry cables to help superfast broadband roll-out opened today. Those wishing to take part have until 21 February 2012 to submit their comments. To support the Government’s wider ambition for the UK to have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015, DCMS has also published an advice note for Local Authorities and Communications Providers on Microtrenching and Street Works.
£10 million increase for lifetime giving and acceptance in lieu schemes
The Chancellor has announced that the annual limit for the new Cultural Gifts Scheme, which will allow pre-eminent works of art or historical objects to be gifted to the nation in return for a tax return and the existing Acceptance in Lieu scheme will total £30 million. This is a 50 per cent increase on the £20 million previously expected to be the total for the two schemes. The Cultural Gifts Scheme will boost lifetime giving and should incentivise philanthropy, benefit our public collections and complement the very successful Acceptance in Lieu scheme.
Simplifying heritage protection
A package of pro-growth measures that will build on the Penfold Review of non-planning consents was also announced today by BIS. Included in this are a number of reforms to the heritage protection system that will be taken forward by DCMS. The aim of these is to streamline operation of the heritage protection system without reducing the level of protection currently afforded to our most important heritage assets.