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Local businesses boosted by better broadband

9th May, 2017

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.

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Faster City launches free WiFi network in Hereford City Centre

21st November, 2016

Visitors and businesses in Hereford will now be able benefit from free WiFi access across the city centre thanks to Faster City. The new network has been launched by Hereford City Life and is a joint partnership Fastershire broadband project, allowing shoppers and businesses access to the internet at no cost and without restrictions on time.

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Frances Warren, Arts in the Marches - Creating the landscape of the future


Creating the landscape of the future

‘I became a local champion for the Fastershire project as I am passionate about ensuring that rural communities and businesses benefit from the same broadband service that can be found in towns and cities across the UK. It is crucial to running a successful business to be able to operate effectively and efficiently no matter where you are based.’

Arts in the Marches is an arts company based in the idyllic rural setting of Llangarron near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. Run by Frances Warren, Arts in the Marches provides a range of services and activities for people interested in the arts, from creative workshops on willow sculpture and stone carving, to macro photography and botanical art, to exhibitions and the development of the Arts in the Marches sculpture garden. Alongside this Frances also provides tailored packages of support and representation for artists that can include promoting their work to galleries around the UK, developing sales, applying for grants, and support with setting up websites and maximising their use of social media.

As part of her role as a champion of the Fastershire project, Frances was invited to a conference held at Hampton Court Castle and it was here that she learnt more about the Faster Women initiative. After attending one of the workshops on social media Frances realised the benefits of providing local business women with the skills and confidence to successfully utilise their high speed internet connection.

The art of good advice

While finding the workshops informative, and a great opportunity to network with other women in the same situation as herself, Frances then went on to benefit from a free one-to-one session at her home with a Fastershire business support advisor, Jack McCaughtrie, who honed in on the IT support which would benefit Arts in the Marches the most. Covering a wide range of topics such as the use of Facebook and Twitter, filing systems and general technical advice, Frances found the session invaluable and is now working with the Faster Women project to set up a day of one-to-one sessions for local business women in her village, so that they can also benefit from tailored advice.

Frances said, ‘I found Jack’s one-to-one session extremely useful. He was helpful, patient and provided expert advice on using the technical tools which will enable me to continue to use, and further develop, the online presence of Arts in the Marches. I thoroughly recommend the sessions and want to ensure that my fellow business women also have the opportunity to benefit from them, so I have been helping to organise a day of free one-to-one sessions in Llangarron at the end of March. I’m happy to say we already have 25 people booked to attend, and a waiting list for future events!

‘When it is finally rolled out in our village the high speed internet connection will mean that carrying out even simple technical tasks, such as attaching images to emails and updating my website will no longer be painfully slow and time consuming. It will mean that day-to-day tasks online will be as simple as they should be and not detrimental to the rest of my work time. It is so important that once we have the connection that we are able to use it to its maximum benefit and I’m sure that the one-to-one sessions will help ensure this.’

Faster Events

18 Jan 2018

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

26 Jan 2018

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

9 Feb 2018

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

23 Feb 2018

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

9 Mar 2018

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

23 Mar 2018

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

13 Apr 2018

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

27 Apr 2018

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


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. 


  • 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.


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.