Digital and broadband

Locheilnet shortlisted for prominent Rural Business Award

Locheilnet CIC, a community broadband network in Lochaber has been shortlisted in the Social Enterprise/Community Project of the Year category at this year’s Rural Business Awards.

Projects supported by Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) are continuing to enjoy success after another community broadband network was shortlisted for an award.

Locheilnet CIC, a community broadband network in Lochaber has been shortlisted in the Social Enterprise/Community Project of the Year category at this year’s Rural Business Awards.

The UK-wide awards, which are entering their second year, seek to recognise businesses and enterprises that operate right across the rural sector. The Social Enterprise/ Community Project of the Year category aims to celebrate an enterprise or project that is shaping a rural community in a positive way.

Originally started by a small group of community representatives, Locheilnet has grown to provide broadband services to over 300 premises in areas around Loch Eil, Loch Linnhe and Loch Lochy. The network has transformed community life and as a result, both businesses and individuals are able to fully explore the opportunities that connectivity brings.

CBS, a Scottish Government initiative lead by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) works with communities across Scotland to bring better connectivity to their area. CBS provided funding and support to expand Locheilnet’s network, allowing the service to increase the number of subscribers.

Jackie Wright, Chair of Locheilnet was delighted with the shortlisting, stating: “This is a significant achievement for us and reflects the outstanding efforts of our exceptional team. It comes at a time when we are planning our next developments and working with more Lochaber communities to provide fast broadband.”

Welcoming the news, Peter Guthrie, Head of CBS Team said: “From small beginnings, Locheilnet has gone from strength to strength and I’m glad to see that they have been recognised for the positive impact they have had on the communities that are able to benefit from the service.

“Access to good broadband provides transformational change to communities and CBS is actively working with groups across Scotland to help them realise their digital ambitions.”

The winners of the Rural Business Awards will be announced at a ceremony in The Belfry Hotel, West Midlands on Thursday 13th October 2016. For more information, visit the Rural Business Awards Website.

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