AN EXTRA £2.86 million for superfast broadband will help business start-ups and job creation in some of Cumbria’s hardest to reach rural areas, Culture Secretary Maria Miller said today.

Local projects will receive additional funding from a £250 million government pot, with the hardest to reach locations amongst those who stand to benefit most.

The funding is in addition to the £1.2 billion already invested by central and local government and will ensure 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2017.

Mrs Miller said: “Superfast Broadband will benefit everyone in Cumbria – whether they need it for work, to do homework or simply to download music or films. Thousands of homes and businesses now have access and it is helping people with their everyday tasks.

“We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband, and the extra £250 million we are investing will help ensure communities around the UK are not left behind in the digital slow lane.”

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said: “We need to work and focus on the hardest to reach communities and I hope that Cumbria will bid for some of this funding and help make sure every community gets broadband."