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Budget to include record £5bn broadband investment for most difficult to reach areas

2 min read

The Budget is set to include a record £5billion investment to roll out the next generation of broadband in the most difficult to reach areas.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is also set to announce a £1billion deal with the mobile phone industry to boost 4G coverage and improve mobile signal in rural areas.

Ahead of Wednesday’s fiscal event he said: “We are committed to levelling up across every region and nation in the UK, and that is why we are making the largest ever public investment into broadband.

“This investment delivers on our promises to the British people, boosting growth and prosperity across the country.”

The gigabit-capable broadband, 40-times faster than standard superfast connections, will be rolled out to the toughest to reach 20% of the country, benefitting more than five million homes and businesses.

And Mr Sunak, alongside culture secretary Oliver Dowden, will announce a joint deal with the mobile phone industry which will provide extra coverage to 280,000 premises and 16,000 km of roads.

The Government also revealed the Budget is set to include a £643million package of investment to help get rough sleepers off the streets and supported to get their lives back on track.

Mr Sunak will confirm the funding boost the week, which will help up to 6,000 people with the accommodation and services needed to turn their lives around.

The package includes £144million for services such as access to training and £237million for new accommodation.

There is also £262million for substance misuse recovery services, which is expected to help more than 10,000 people a year.

It comes after figures showed a 9% reduction in rough sleeping last year, but the number has more than doubled since 2010.

The stats, released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, showed there were 4,266 people estimated to be sleeping rough on a single night in autumn 2019, compared to 1,768 people in 2010.

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