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LCR Connect scoops second national award

  • LCR Connect named Best Project Roll Out at the Connected Britain awards
  • The £30m joint venture between the Combined Authority, ITS and NGE is installing 214km full-fibre gigabit-capable network
  • Scheme will generate initial £105m for the local economy, leading to an eventual £1bn boost
  • Mayor Steve Rotheram: “A forward-facing city region like ours deserves to have modern and thriving infrastructure – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering through LCR Connect.”

Mayor Steve Rotheram’s flagship project to create an ultrafast, full fibre network across the Liverpool City Region has scooped a second prestigious national award.

LCR Connect is installing a 214km gigabit-capable network that will generate an initial £105m for the local economy, eventually leading to an estimated £1bn boost.

The £30m joint venture between the Combined Authority, ITS and NGE is part of Mayor Rotheram’s mission to make the city region the most digitally connected in the UK.

LCR Connect was this week named Best Project Roll Out at the Connected Britain awards, which recognise the most significant and innovative organisations, solutions and programmes that are shaping Britain’s digital future.

The award is for an organisation of any type that has been outstanding in enhancing the delivery of gigabit-capable broadband in the UK.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“A forward-facing city region like ours deserves to have modern and thriving infrastructure – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering through LCR Connect.

“As we move towards an increasingly digital world, ensuring that our residents and businesses are properly connected up to this 21st century necessity has never been more important. Thanks to LCR Connect, we’re well on our way to becoming the most digitally inclusive region in the country – and creating a better-connected future for our 1.6m residents.”

It’s LCR Connect’s second major national award in less than a year. In November it was named Best Public Sector Project at the INCA awards held at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall. INCA (the Independent Networks Co-operative Association) supports the development of independent digital networks and infrastructure across the UK.

LCR Connect is 50%-owned by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, led by Mayor Rotheram, in partnership with North West-based ITS Technology Group, who are the lead commercial partner on the project, working alongside construction partner NGE, who are managing the build and roll out of the network.

Alongside existing local digital infrastructure, the new fibre optic network is helping position the city region as a world leader in digital technology.

Councillor Paul Stuart, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Digital and Innovation said:

“The LCR Connect project is a worthy winner of this award which recognises the huge difference this major digital infrastructure project will make to our city region and its contribution to national digital capacity. Investment in this type of infrastructure will be the key to our future prosperity.”

Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS Technology Group, said:

“We are delighted this game-changing digital infrastructure project has received industry recognition. As a gigabit-capable super-highway, LCR Connect is opening up the digital potential for everyone across the City Region.

“Through future-proofed connectivity the network brings, we’re providing the platform for businesses and citizens to access digital tools that can make a real difference.

“From enabling innovation and inward investment, through to digital inclusion, it’s a network that will benefit the whole area.”

David Franck, International Director, NGE, said:

“NGE is proud to be rolling-out the 214km backhaul network and investing alongside its partners for the long-term benefit of the Liverpool City Region.”

Work will be completed later this year on the 214km full fibre network, capable of delivering multi-gigabit connections, that will help position the city region at the head of the next digital revolution, supporting business innovation, inward investment, and job creation.

Experts estimate that with 100% full fibre coverage across the city region, building on this network, the economic boost could be worth up to £1bn, creating thousands of local job and training opportunities.

In its initial phase, the consortium is creating a resilient fibre ‘backhaul network’, connecting three transatlantic cables and major economic clusters in each of the Liverpool City Region’s six local authority areas.

The INCA ‘Best Public Sector Project’ award, won by LCR Connect in November 2022, recognises that local authorities and other public bodies often play a crucial role in the delivery of world class connectivity for their communities. Working in collaboration with communities and private sector partners, balancing needs and priorities in order to deliver successful outcomes requires skill and judgement. This award recognises that expertise and celebrates outstanding achievement in a public sector project.

For more information on LCR Connect’s build progress and service availability visit: LCR Connect Network Build