The North West Development Agency (NWDA) has hailed a project aimed at providing broadband to businesses in Cumbria as a success.
After the implementation of the scheme, ten times as many firms have taken up broadband services over the last four years.
Data shows that some 16,612 businesses now have broadband in the region, which translates to a 71 per cent take up rate, compared to just seven per cent in the past.
NWDA chief executive Steven Broomhead said: "Sectors that were not previously viable in the area are now thriving such as digital and creative, while industries supported by the technology such as tourism have thrived."
A healthy portion of 30 per cent of Cumbrian businesses now say their range of customers has increased since getting connected to broadband.