FAST speed broadband has reached one of the most remote destinations in the north of England due to the determination of local volunteers.

The group Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) raised £91,150 locally to bring the fibre optic network to Bullpot - headquarters of the Red Rose Pothole and Caving Club - within the parish of Casterton.

They also received a £9,950 loan from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority at a special event to celebrate the arrival of broadband along with an £8,000 grant from the Rural Sustainable Fund to allow the pothole and caving club to build a library.

Local contractor Tony Swiddenbank laid duct from Barbondale to Bullpot, and two other properties beyond, while volunteers connected fibre into the new caving club library.

More than 45 volunteers in Casterton helped build the network locally and place fibre into peoples’ homes.

Permission for laying duct was given by Natural England across Barbon Low Fell and by Aygill which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The caving club now has a robust telecommunications system to contact emergency services in case of accidents.

Previously isolated homes now have modern telecommunications and broadband and rural businesses have the technology enabling them to expand.

Gary Mawdsley, who runs Casterton-based Anzen Data, a technology business associated with databases and security of data, was on BT fibre before B4RN arrived.

“The analogy I draw is that BT is the horse and cart and B4RN is the Mercedes Saloon. It is that marked,” said Mr Mawdsley, whose business has the backing of the world’s largest data company, Oracle, based in the USA.

“B4RN gives us the capability of almost being in Phoenix next to the machinery we are using whereas on the BT nctwork we would always feel we were remote because of the fragility of the system.”

In Casterton almost 70 per cent of houses have connected to the B4RN service.

All new housing developments in the village will be connected to the service in the future.