SIX rural areas of Warrington are set to benefit from ultrafast broadband.

Croft, Booths Hill, Heatley, Lymm, Culcheth and Oughtrington have been named among 19 market towns and villages across Cheshire to benefit.

They are all part of 'harder to reach' areas which will have full fibre technology introduced by Openreach by the end of March next year.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach’s Partnership Director in the North of England, said: “This is great news for people living and working here and builds on Openreach’s strong track record of working in rural areas, for years playing a key role alongside local councils to upgrade more than 97 per cent of the north west to superfast broadband. "Today’s announcement is about taking that next step and building a full fibre network that is not only faster, but also more reliable and future-proof for generations to come.”

In a report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research (Cebr) – “Full fibre broadband: A platform for growth” - commissioned by Openreach in 2019, revealed that connecting everyone in the north west to ‘full fibre’ broadband by 2025 would create a £5.5 billion boost to the region’s economy.

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Openreach’s CEO, Clive Selley, said: “Our full fibre build programme is going great guns - having passed over 2 million premises already on the way to our 4m target by March 2021. We’re now building at around 26,000 premises a week in over 100 locations – reaching a new home or business every 23 seconds. That’s up from 13,000 premises a week this time last year.

“Openreach has always been committed to doing our bit in rural Britain - delivering network upgrades in communities that are harder to reach and less densely populated. We intend to build a significant portion of our full-fibre network in these harder to reach areas of the UK and are announcing 227 locations today.

“Our ambition is to reach 15 million premises by mid-2020s if right investment conditions are in place. Currently, the biggest missing piece of this puzzle is getting an exemption from business rates on building fibre cables which is critical for any fibre builder’s long-term investment case.”