AN EDEN woman’s dedication to bringing broadband internet to Cumbria has won her a national award and a £5,000 cash prize.

Libby Bateman, of Mallerstang, scooped the TalkTalk Digital Heroes Award for the North West after being nominated by Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart.

The award recognised for her role in the Cumbria broadband campaign with the East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum (ECCBF) and her £5,000 award will be poured back into the organisation.

She also finds out on Thursday at the House of Lords if she has won a further £10,000, a grand prize awarded to one of the 11 regional winners.

Dido Harding, TalkTalk chief, said: “We would like to congratulate Libby, as well as our other 11 regional winners. The Digital Heroes Awards were designed to recognise and reward those who use digital technology to make a difference in their communities.

“Over the course of the short-listing and voting phases we’ve seen some incredibly worthy causes and we are delighted that these projects are getting the recognition they fully deserve.”

Mrs Bateman is a local charity worker and community organiser and set up the East Cumbrian Broadband Forum in response to the local community's high levels of rural broadband activism and selection as a rural pilot of a Government spend on broadband infrastructure. The forum represents 15 local community broadband groups, all of whom are volunteers that Libby has united to make sure their communities survive in the digital age.

The national prize judging panel ncludes dotcom entrepreneur and UK Digital Champion, Martha Lane Fox, and TalkTalk chairman Charles Dunstone.

Rory Stewart MP said: “We look to people like Libby and her colleagues to tell us how to get things done in rural areas.

“I cannot think of a better way of recognising her dedication and expertise as through this award.

“And I congratulate her and wish her all the very best of luck for the grand prize.”

The TalkTalk Digital Heroes Awards celebrate inspirational people who are using digital technology to bring about positive social change.