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Claire Howlett - Digital future for dairy farm

Claire Howlett runs Wicton Farm, an organic dairy farm in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside, with her brother following the retirement of their parents three years ago. Claire returned to Herefordshire to run the family farm after previously working in Tanzania, Senegal and Cambodia for an international volunteering organisation.

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Local businesses boosted by better broadband

9th May, 2017
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Three Herefordshire businesses have benefited from improved broadband thanks to the Fastershire broadband project. 

Eastnor Castle, the Land Rover Experience Eastnor and D3 Active received a grant to fund the installation of a new broadband connection from Herefordshire Council’s Fastershire project. The grant has been used to purchase three lease line providing access to 100Mbps download and upload speeds. 

David Littlewood, General Manager at Eastnor Castle, said; “The improved connection has made a huge difference and it’s been fantastic news for all the businesses based at Eastnor.”
 
“Eastnor Castle and D3 Active are already benefiting from faster broadband speeds and the Land Rover Experience is due to be enabled in the next few months.”
 
“More and more guests staying at Eastnor expect good broadband speeds. It was vital for the future development of the Castle that we were able to meet our guests’ expectations and provide the services they require.”    
 
Fastershire is rolling out faster broadband across the county and has been boosted by the recent launch of the Marches and Gloucestershire Business Broadband Grant, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This new grant will cover the capital installation of a broadband connection to any business that is not covered under the project’s main rollout and can demonstrate an economic case. 
 
Cllr Harlow, cabinet member for economy and corporate services responsible for the Fastershire project said, “This grant has been awarded under the Herefordshire broadband bursary scheme and reinforces Fastershire’s commitment to delivering faster broadband across Herefordshire. 
 
“The bursary allows Fastershire greater ability to fund more bespoke and innovative solutions for businesses that have significant broadband requirements in order to grow and compete on a larger scale.  Herefordshire is the only county to run such a scheme but the new ERDF funded Marches and Gloucestershire Business Broadband Grant will allow us to do even more across the county and beyond” 
 
Fastershire has already enabled more than 30,000 homes and businesses across the county to access superfast broadband and the recent announcement about phase 2 will see over 8,000 additional premises access ultrafast broadband.
 

Business Stories

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Claire Howlett - Digital future for dairy farm

Claire Howlett runs Wicton Farm, an organic dairy farm in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside, with her brother following the retirement of their parents three years ago. Claire returned to Herefordshire to run the family farm after previously working in Tanzania, Senegal and Cambodia for an international volunteering organisation.

Read Full Story


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Faster Events

18 Jan 2018
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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Essentials

This FREE Faster Business workshop will help you navigate the minefield of information out there about GDPR.

 

Location: Civic Suite, Regus Building, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Thursday 18th January 2018

Time: 12:00-14:30

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26 Jan 2018
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Master your Marketing

In this FREE workshop, Faster Business advisor, Ben Kinnaird, will show you how to plan your marketing strategy, budget and content, use online project management tools to get ensure you work is done effectively and measure your success so you can do it again month after month.

 

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS

Date: Friday 26th January 2018

Time: 12:00-14:00

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9 Feb 2018
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LinkedIn Essentials

In this FREE LinkedIn workshop, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie will teach you about the key features of LinkedIn, teach you how to understand the benefits for your small business and establish a simple effective routine that complements your marketing strategy.

 

Location: Civic Suite, Regus Building, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Friday 9th February 2018

Time: 12:00-14:30

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23 Feb 2018
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General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Essentials

This FREE Faster Business workshop will help you navigate the minefield of information out there about GDPR.

 

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS

Date: Friday 23rd February 2018

Time: 12:00-14:00

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9 Mar 2018
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Get Found Online - Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Essentials

In this FREE workshop from Faster Business our advisor, Ben Kinnaird, will share with you some of the tools and techniques that will help you improve your search engine rankings so you have a best chance of being on the first page of Google.

 

Location: Civic Suite, Regus Building, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Friday 9th March 2018

Time: 12:00-14:30

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23 Mar 2018
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Instagram & Pinterest Essentials

Increasing these social media platforms are playing a more prominent role in customers’ purchasing decisions and how they engage with products and services. In this FREE workshop, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, will explain how your business can utilise Instagram and Pinterest.

 

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS

Date: Friday 23rd March 2018

Time: 12:00-14:00

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13 Apr 2018
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Online Advertising Essentials

In this FREE workshop from Faster Business our advisor, Ben Kinnaird, will share with you advice for deciding where and when to advertise, creating interesting adverts and tips for convincing people to click through to your website.

 

Location: Civic Suite, Regus Building, North Warehouse,The Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EP

Date: Friday 13th April 2018

Time: 12:00-14:30

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27 Apr 2018
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Facebook Advertising Essentials

In this FREE workshop, Faster Business advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, will help you understand how you can use Facebook adverts for increased conversions, decreased costs and find new customers.

 

Location: Hereford Business Solutions Centre, Skylon Court, Coldnose Road, HR2 6JS

Date: Friday 27th April 2018

Time: 12:00-14:00

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Business Broadband Grant

Can your business access up to £25,000 of capital funding to bring high speed connectivity to your premise?

Fastershire in partnership with Connecting Shropshire and Superfast Telford and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, have designed the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant.  

The grant will provide up to 100% of the capital installation cost and through our registration portal we aim to help to match your business with potential suppliers who can install your high speed connectivity. 


Eligibility  

  • Your business must not be included in Fastershire’s main rollout (To check, please use the address check above)
  • Your business will need to be an small and medium sized enterprise (SME) and operate within an eligible sector
  • You can demonstrate an economic case for high speed connectivity

How to register

Step 1 - Register on the Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant portal, click here. Registration is subject to approval and can take up five working days. 
Step 2 - Once approved, you will be required to complete a ‘request for quotation’ form
Step 3 - Suppliers registered under the scheme will then submit quotes and you are able to select your preferred supplier.

Passport

Herefordshire Council is committed to ensuring that each business or resident who can prove the need for a Next Generation Access (NGA) connection of over 24Mbps is able to get one. If you receive a basic broadband service, but not an NGA service, through the new network and need to upgrade, there are a number of funding options available.
 

Who is eligible?

Your eligibility for this additional funding will be assessed upon your expression of interest. The following criteria will be assessed:
  • The application must be for a business or residential premise in Herefordshire
  • The premise or group of premises you are seeking support for must be in the eligible area of Herefordshire
  • The premise or group of premises will not receive NGA through the main project funding
  • You can demonstrate why you need NGA as opposed to the basic provision you will receive as part of the main project

How do I apply?

Because the rollout of the new fibre network is phased, additional funding for each area will only become available once work has started in an area. So applications will be processed in stages:
 
Step 1 - Submit your expression of interest by filling out the form below
Step 2 - If you are a business the Fastershire team will be in touch to arrange a session with an Objective Advisor to help build your business case.
Step 3 - Once funding becomes available in your area and you are eligible you will be sent an application form to complete
Step 4 - Submit your completed application form by the specified date
Step 5 - The Fastershire project team will inform you of the outcome of your application
 

Where to buy

Here's a list of business broadband providers who offer packages for businesses connected by Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), with links to their web sites, so you can find out if they're up and running where you live.

Click here to view FTTP providers >


Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) Providers













Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) Providers

Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is one of the world's most cutting edge types of fibre broadband with blistering speeds of up to 330Mbps and 1000Mpbs.

If you get enabled with FTTP, you can order it through one of the following Service Providers.

We'll update this page as more ISPs start to offer FTTP.





Gigaclear Providers




Faster Business Review

The Faster Business Review is a free discussion between you and one of the Faster Business Advisors. The session is tailored to your needs and can cover topics including, social media, online marketing, websites, e-commerce, online security, software and hardware.  

Request a Faster Business Review

To request a FREE business review please complete the registration form at the bottom of the page and one of our business advisors will contact you to arrange your free face to face review.  


Met with a Faster Business Advisor

Faster Business has a network of local experts who are on hand to provide you with a free face to face review. The advisors are all from small business themselves and so bring with them both IT know how and a real understanding of the pressures on small business. They can help you identify ways that IT, enabled by the growing access to faster broadband, can help your business grow or reduce its costs by saving time and money.

Faster Business Social Score

Faster Business Social Score can provide you with a simple, easy to understand monthly report that will allow you to measure how well your business is performing on social media. This will give you a monthly benchmark which can help you track progress and measure the results of your work.

 Faster Business Action Plan

Following your review you will be receive an infographic action plan that includes an indication of your broadband requirements against the speeds you can access, a list of the top 5-10 things you can do to improve the way the business operates and a commentary of your Faster Business Review.

 Faster Business Voucher & Exclusive Offers

With your action plan you will receive £100 worth of Fastershire Vouchers to help you deliver one of the actions. To claim your Faster Business voucher, please click here. These vouchers can be redeemed to pay for software subscriptions, online marketing or even a professional's time. As a Faster Business you will also have access to a range of exclusive offers from local businesses. 


 Faster Business Community

Join the growing number of local businesses across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire that are already benefiting from Faster Business support.


 Faster Business Events

As a Faster Business you can benefit from a range of networking events and training sessions focusing on digital topics relevant to your business, for more information, click here.


Click here to see a range of exclusive offers and discounts > 

 
Business Review Details

Cost: Free

Location: Your premises (or as arranged)

Discussion topics: Troubleshooting, social media, connectivity, software, hardware but you can drill down into any particular area you feel would most benefit your business.

Duration: The discussion can last anything between a couple of hours and half a day.

What topics do you wish to cover in your review?

Useful Videos

Below is a list of videos from our YouTube channel.










Faster Women

Grow online and boost your business - or craft a new career.

Thanks to funding from the Government Equalities Office we have now run two Faster Women projects to support Herefordshire and Gloucestershire women to develop the digital and internet skills required to setup and develop their businesses. The second project ended in April 2016. We are now offering occasional workshops throughout the year.

Please register your interest through the link below if you would like to be notified when Faster Women workshop dates are confirmed.

If you are part of a local business network organisation that would be interested in providing workshops and training to your members and others please email faster-women@fastershire.com

Faster broadband provides an opportunity for businesses and potential entrepreneurs to take advantage of faster speeds to expand current or set-up new businesses, including home-based businesses, however the Women’s Business Council has found that for women in particular increasing digital confidence and internet know-how is key to this. Thanks to funding from the Government Equalities Office, Fastershire provided Faster Women networking opportunities, workshops and training for women to take advantage of how the internet can boost new and existing businesses.

Calling Digital Ambassadors

Are you a successful business woman working in Herefordshire or Gloucestershire who would like to share how you’ve used the internet to effectively develop a business? Do you make the most of the benefits that using the internet can bring whether it’s marketing through social media, online selling, maintaining a website, cloud computing, running a business from home?

If you’d like to help shape future projects by sharing your own knowledge and experience of successfully using digital technology please get in touch.

Faster Farmers

The Fastershire broadband project and the Herefordshire Rural Hub have come together to create Faster Farmers. 

Faster Farmers aims to help farmers exploit new digital technology and methods of working to expand and grow their business by providing free training and advice. 

For more information, please contact us.  

 

Faster City

Speeding up your city

The Fastershire broadband project and the Hereford Business Improvement District (HBID) have teamed up to create the Faster City project.

The Faster City project has developed a WiFi city centre scheme in Hereford that delivers three elements:

Icon Hereford boasts the largest retail offer in the county with many of Herefordshire’s key retail and tourism businesses located in a highly concentrated area.

Icon The Faster City project will enhance the shopping experience for consumers and help city centre retailers to understand and exploit the changing market trends

Icon The scheme will also pave the way for other innovations including smart infrastructure including an upgraded CCTV circuit and interactive signage.

Latest News

Faster City launches free WiFi network in Hereford City Centre.

To read the full story, please click here.


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How are we doing

96,516 Fast homes
and businesses
702 Kms of
fibre laid
99 exchange areas
now live
407 cabinets
now live

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Stay in the loop

Faster broadband is being rolled out across Herefordshire and Gloucestershire between now but it is not possible to flick a switch to make every area go live on the same day and some areas will go live before this. Register your interest today and we will keep you in the loop about developments in your fibre broadband status.