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New UK government drive to support rural communities
Communities and businesses in the most remote areas will benefit from better access to wireless networks following the announcement of government plans.
A new £7 million fund will test out new ways to bring together satellite, wireless and fixed line internet connectivity, helping support farmers and tourism businesses to access lightning fast, reliable connectivity in remote areas for the first time.
The results of the new approaches will also help rural businesses in trial areas make the most of new agricultural technologies by improving connectivity on their land, for example using new drone technology to monitor crops and livestock in real-time, support landscape and wildlife conservation efforts, or develop interactive experiences for tourists.
To boost the supply of new affordable housing to rent or buy in rural areas, the UK government will create a network of new “Rural Housing Enablers” to act as honest brokers between developers and communities. Backed by £2.5 million of funding, they will help to identify sites with local support for development and in keeping with the local area.
The UK government will consult on making it easier for farmers to change their redundant agricultural buildings into family homes by cutting red tape. Planning rules could be changed to provide a more generous threshold delivered through the more streamlined planning process, while providing local authorities with new powers to safeguard against second homes and holiday lets.
See: Government launches new drive to support rural communities - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)