RESIDENTS are celebrating after it was announced that the programme to rollout superfast broadband in South Gloucestershire would be extended.

It was announced last month that an additional 1,000 rural homes and businesses in South Gloucestershire are to benefit from the rollout of high-speed broadband as part of the £35.6 million Great Western Broadband partnership between South Gloucestershire Council, Wiltshire Council and BT.

The rollout will now include Aust, Hawkesbury Upton, Horton, Marshfield, Winterbourne and additional parts of Pucklechurch and Downend.

It was also announced that a number of industrial parks and trading estates would also be encompassed by the project, including Emerald Park Industrial Estate in Emersons Green, additional parts of North Road Industrial Estate in Yate and Westerleigh Business Park, also in Yate.

Amongst the residents celebrating victory for the local-led campaign were Cotswold Edge Councillor, Sue Hope, and Thornbury and Yate MP, Steve Webb.

Steve Webb MP said: “After much pressure by local residents, South Gloucestershire’s broadband programme has now been extended to include a number of rural areas that previously looked set to be left out.

“This is great news for local people in Hawkesbury Upton, Horton, Marshfield and elsewhere. The current Great Western Broadband project runs to next April, which means that by then the main infrastructure (such as upgraded green cabinets in Horton and Hawkesbury) should be in place to allow most residents to access superfast broadband.”

Cllr Sue Hope said: “This has been a long and hard fight to get the Council and BT to stand up to their responsibilities and stop treating rural residents like second class citizens.

“We are very pleased that they have now agreed to roll out the high-speed broadband programme to a thousand extra rural homes, but this has only happened thanks to a spirited campaign by local people.

“There is still more to do, however, as many rural homes are still not covered by the extended programme. We will continue to keep up the pressure on BT and the Council until all local residents have access to decent broadband speeds.”