BUSINESSES across South Gloucestershire are set to benefit from a £200,000 investment in faster broadband.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Superfast Business is supplying the cash to help local companies benefit from new digital technologies.

The Superfast Business service, delivered by Business West, helps eligible businesses to learn about, and exploit, the opportunities that digital technologies and fibre-optic broadband present. The service will work with small to medium-sized businesses which are already benefiting from good connection speeds or where superfast broadband will be installed.

Superfast Business will now run a series of events in the region to equip businesses with the knowledge to capitalise on new digital technologies.

The first event is looking at social media and ways to make it work for business. It takes place at the Bristol and Bath Science Park on Thursday, February 27 (8.30-11am).

The second is on Wednesday, March 19 (11.30am-2.30pm) at the Armadillo youth cafe in Yate on the future of digital business and the third looks at making more of your customers and takes place at the BAWA centre in Filton on Tuesday, April 1 (8.30-11am).

The events are aimed at small and medium sized businesses; business owners, decision makers, IT managers and marketing professionals. There is no charge for attending but eligibility criteria apply and booking is essential.

Julia Jones from South Gloucestershire-based Premier Employee Solutions, who recently attended a Superfast Business event, said: “I came away with some really good tips for improving our website.

“The other delegates were in similar situations and so the discussions were very useful and participative. It was also reassuring to realise that my knowledge is not as limited as I initially thought.”

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, said: “Superfast broadband is about much more than speeding up your email or web browsing. It can transform the way that you do business.

“ “We are urging ambitious businesses with strong growth potential to visit the Superfast Business website and find out more about the service – it has the potential to revolutionise the way they operate.”

South Gloucestershire Council is working in partnership with Wiltshire Council and BT to ensure that all premises in the area will be able to access at least a standard broadband service by 2016, with 94 per cent able to access superfast broadband.

For more details and to book a place at one of the events visit