Faster internet connection is the aim of a £67 million investment across the UK by the government announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The Nationwide Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) will provide vouchers worth up to £3000 for a small or medium sized business and £500 to residents to help with the costs of connecting to full fibre broadband.

The scheme is part of a wider government plan to get more homes and businesses connected to full fibre broadband. It builds on the £200 million Local Full Fibre Networks programme which gives funding to local areas to boost full fibre delivery. £95 million of this funding was allocated at the Spring Statement to 13 successful bidders across the UK.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: "We’re backing Britain’s small businesses by investing £67 million to bring full-fibre broadband to more businesses up and down the country. This means faster, more reliable broadband access as we build the digital infrastructure we need to make our economy fit for the future."

Full fibre connections are faster, more reliable and cheaper to operate than traditional copper lines, and are capable of supporting not only gigabit, but terabit and even petabit speeds. Currently only around 3% of UK premises has access to a full fibre connection.

CLA senior economist Dr Charles Trotman said: “Poor broadband remains one of the biggest barriers to rural economic growth. The ability of rural businesses and homes to pool vouchers will also be essential in ensuring that the momentum towards universal connectivity is maintained. When used together with other schemes, such as Openreach’s Community Fibre Partnership, hard to reach rural areas will finally realise the advantages of superfast broadband.”