Grants and funding

Available grants and funding

There's a fair chance you might be able to get a grant to help your community pay for its part of the costs. For example, some communities have used grants from the Government, wind farms and Calor Gas.  Here’s some information on the most widely used schemes.

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme 

The Government’s Gigabit Voucher Scheme gives grants to businesses and home owners toward the costs of connecting to full fibre broadband.  

How much could you get?

The scheme provides vouchers for £2,500 for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and £500 for residents to help with the costs of providing Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) to your address. This means that you’ll be able to order gigabit capable connections from the broadest range of suppliers.

You can put these vouchers toward your part of the costs of your Community Fibre Partnership. So if you have a few businesses and residents who are interested, they could all apply for vouchers to put towards the cost.  

 

How the Gigabit scheme works

Payments of vouchers for each SME - and resident - under the scheme will be made by DCMS directly to us, as a registered supplier, once they have confirmed that new connections have been delivered. So for an FTTP solution with Openreach, that's at the point the new infrastructure is live and ready to take orders. We'll take care of all that for you.

The table below shows example funding scenarios for a full fibre network for communities who partner with us.

fibre with Openreach

Total amount of vouchers claimed

Amount of first payment to Openreach

Amount of second (final) payment to Openreach

£20,000

£7,500

£10,000 paid via the legal entity

£2,500 paid via the legal entity

£7,500 vouchers redeemed with DCMS by Openreach*

£20,000

£15,000

£5,000 paid via the legal entity

£15,000 vouchers redeemed with DCMS by Openreach*

£20,000

£20,000

£0

£20,000 vouchers redeemed with DCMS by Openreach*

 

     

*After ensuring the SME - and any residents - conforms to the eligibility criteria and has ordered an eligible product.

 

Broadband for Rural Communities

Rural premises may be eligible for additional funding through the Government’s Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme.  Business and residents in some of the hardest-to-reach places in the UK are eligible for additional funding towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband to their premises when part of a group project.

As with the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, these vouchers can be put toward your part of the costs of your Community Fibre Partnership. So if you have a few property owners who are interested, they could all apply for vouchers to put towards the cost. 

Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps can use vouchers worth up to £3,500 for each small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and up to £1,500 per residential premise to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections. 

Want to know more?

There’s more information on the Government’s Gigabit website.

Our FTTP network uses the latest technology and is already the UK's largest, so join us to get maximum choice and value for your business. Hundreds of businesses have already benefited from faster connections brought to them through partnering with us. They know that a faster internet connection means you can do more and sell more.

Want fibre for your business?

If you own or represent a business and are interested in getting fibre please use our fibre checker to start your journey.

The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme

This voucher scheme was developed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It subsidises broadband installation for homes and businesses in England and Scotland. To qualify, you must have broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps, and not be included in the national superfast broadband roll-out.
 

How much could you get?

£350 per eligible residential or business address. So, for example, if 12 properties in your community apply and are all approved, you’ll get £4,200 in vouchers. You can then use these toward the cost of your Community Fibre Partnership.
 

Claiming Your Codes

Once the new community fibre infrastructure is nearing completion, the community lead will need to email the aggregated list of approved premises to BDUK at better.broadband@culture.gov.uk  to obtain unique codes. These codes can then be redeemed against the Community Fibre Partnership with us. The codes don’t have a fixed value and can’t be redeemed in any other way than through the scheme, but when used toward a fibre broadband infrastructure via our Community Fibre Partnerships programme, it will enable the community to use a £350 contribution per eligible premise to the total cost of the solution.
 

Contractual bits and payment

Typically your community will pay for your part of the solution cost in two parts – 50 per cent on contract signature and 50 per cent on completion of the delivery of the solution infrastructure.

Depending on the value of the vouchers raised, you may see a reduction in your second payment or in both the second and first payment.

The contract with Openreach remains unchanged if vouchers are used in part payment, so we’ll still require commitment of 50 per cent payment upfront and the remaining 50 per cent  payment on completion. Any vouchers used will be redeemed against the final payment to Openreach unless the total value of the community vouchers exceeds 50 per cent of the community’s cost for the fibre broadband infrastructure.

In some cases, a community will be able to fund the entire contract value in vouchers then we will require confirmation of all individual pledges in order to proceed. We’ll require the community to complete the contract signature in the normal way, but we’ll progress deployment and redeem the vouchers on solution delivery.

It is key that we receive all the information required to redeem the voucher upfront so that there are no issues with claiming the vouchers on completion.

Example scenarios:

 

Overall cost of fibre infrastructure to a community Total amount of BDUK voucher codes claimed Amount of first payment Amount of second (final) payment
£20,000 £1,400 £10,000 paid via the legal entity £8,600 paid via the legal entity

£1,400 vouchers redeemed with BDUK by Openreach
£20,000 £9,800 £10,000 paid via the legal entity
£200 paid via the legal entity

£9,800 vouchers redeemed with BDUK by Openreach
£20,000 £14,700 £5,300 paid via the legal entity

£4,700 vouchers redeemed with BDUK by Openreach
£10,000 vouchers redeemed with BDUK by Openreach
£20,000 £20,000 £10,000 vouchers redeemed with BDUK by Openreach
£10,000 vouchers redeemed with BDUK by Openreach

 

Want to know more? 

Have a look at the Better Broadband scheme website. If you’re interested, we recommend you apply for vouchers as soon as possible – although the scheme doesn’t close until the end of the year, the government won't release the funds until the new fibre infrastructure’s up and running. Applying early will give you enough time to get this done.

Access Broadband Cymru voucher scheme

This scheme is for Welsh Community Fibre Partnerships only. It gives people vouchers toward the costs of installing new broadband connections for homes and businesses. 
 

How much could you get? 

Eligible homes and businesses can get a voucher for either £400 or £800, depending on the speed of the new connection. You can use these to pay for a Community Fibre Partnership with us.
 

Want to know more? 

There’s more information on the Welsh Government’s website. You can also have a read of the application form

BT Group grant scheme

Applications for this grant are now closed as the funding is all currently allocated. This information is provided for existing Community Fibre Partnerships who received these grants.

BT Group dedicated £2m to award as grants to communities with a school or charity to enable superfast, or ultrafast access in the classroom as well as at home and in the community. 

Communities in the UK with a school or charity receiving speeds of less than 30Mbps could apply for a grant to cover three quarters of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000.  So, for example, if the cost for a so called 'gap-funded' solution that serves a school has been quoted as £40,000, the community would pay £10,000 and £30,000 would be funded from the grant.

BT Group grant information and FAQs

  • The grant is available to UK communities where their Openreach proposal for a new co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school or registered charity that has broadband speeds below 30Mbps.

  • The grant will cover three quarters of the cost of the new fibre infrastructure, up to £30,000. So for example, if the cost for a gap funded solution that serves a school or charity has been quoted as £40,000, the community would pay £10,000 and £30,000 would be funded from the grant. 

  • Grants are made subject to a contract being signed within three months of the offer letter.

  • The grant is open for applications from 28 June 2016 to the point to the point that the £2m fund has been exhausted. Grants are conditional on the community raising all of their required funding for their fibre solution.

    Grants will be made on a 'first come, first served' basis until all the funds have been exhausted. 

  • This is an exclusive grant that's available to communities whose Openreach co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school or registered charity that doesn't have speeds of less than 30Mbps

  • The school or charity would need to be served by the new fibre infrastructure that the community is looking to co-fund.

  • Yes, any school, from primary age through to the end of sixth form, whether state or independent, that falls within the community means that the community would be eligible for the grant, as long as the school has speeds of less than 30Mbps. The school (or learning establishment) needs to be Ofsted registered - or registered with an equivalent body.

  • Yes, as long the following criterion is fulfilled:

    1. A premise that is a registered charity address, that is registered with the Charity Commission and fulfils the following requirements:
    2.  The registered charity must be able to provide evidence that they are up to date with their financial returns, (information accessible via the charity commission website)
    3.  The registered charity must not be under investigation or suspended by the Charities Commission. (If during the term of the contract the charity does become subject to investigation or suspension by the Charity Commission, or is no longer a charity then this will render the allocation of the grant null and void. The community must accept this risk)
    4. The registered charity must not have political or religious aims, this is in line with the BT Group Policy on charities
    5. The registered charity must have its registered address within the scope of the contracted solution, or have their principle activity in the community e.g. a Guide Hut in the community, although the Charity may be registered elsewhere
    6. The applicant must ensure that the charity completes the CFP Grant charity application form (that Openreach will provide) in full, in order to secure the award
    7. The charity must currently receive broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps. 
  • We'll provide a template for each community lead to fill in, and send back to us – we're keeping things as simple as we can.

  • The maximum grant is £30,000 / three quarters of the cost of your new fibre infrastructure.

  • A grant body has been established with Citizens Online to assess applications, with no preference as to the type or location of community.

  • The grant is open for applications from 28 June 2016 to the point that the £2m fund has been exhausted. Grants are conditional on the community raising all of their required funding for their fibre solution and are made subject to a contract being signed within three months of the date of the offer letter.

  • There is no obligation for the school or charity to upgrade to fibre broadband, it's their decision.

  • Yes, you can apply for a grant up until the point you have signed a contract. The £2m is a new grant fund (June 2016). There are some projects which pre-date it and will not benefit from it.

  • No, only one grant per Community Fibre Partnership is allowed.

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