SUPERFAST broadband which is being rolled out across the county will give rural businesses a vital boost and help economies grow.

That’s the view of MP Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries who attended a ‘Get up to Speed’ workshop at Monk’s Yard at Horton Cross.

Mr Vaizey visited the centre near Ilminster to announce that 31 rural communities are now able to use superfast web access through the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme.

During his visit last week, he said: “I’m delighted to see that CDS is making remarkable progress.

“Government is investing over £100m in broadband for the South-West and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to the local economy.

“Business and community support programmes like ‘Get up to Speed’ are tremendously important helping businesses to develop and enabling rural economies to grow.”

The workshop was designed to help businesses across Chard, Ilminster and Crewkerne, as well as communities, improve ICT skills and knowledge, as well as encourage the take up of the new faster broadband service.

Dean Holling, senior manager at Monk’s Yard, said: “We are pleased to have hosted this event and can confirm that having one of the fastest internet connections in the county is a great opportunity for business.

“We’re a young enterprise, just six years old this month, and getting connected to the system meant we could offer another important element to our customers – video conferencing.”

Cllr David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, added: “Supporting our broadband infrastructure investment with the CDS ‘Get up to Speed’ programme ensures that businesses and residents understand the possibilities that superfast broadband can bring to day to day activities.

“Around 90% of homes and businesses in the region will have access to superfast broadband speeds by the end of 2016, and we are making sure these residents know how to make the most of the opportunities this will bring.”