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The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced plans to provide £530 million in funding for the delivery of high-speed broadband in rural areas.

George Osborne said the money would be invested over a four-year period and include £300 million redirected from the BBC licence fee.

North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Herefordshire and the Highlands and Islands all look set to benefit from the new fund, which was announced amid various public cuts in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The chancellor revealed that departmental budgets would fall by 19 per cent over the next four years, as the government attempts to restore the health of the UK's finances.

However, Mr Osborne said the £530 million broadband investment "will help encourage the growth of our creative industries as a key part of the new economy we are seeking to build".

Earlier this year, the government pushed back the time frame for the delivery of nationwide 2Mb broadband from 2012 to 2015, citing a funding shortage for the decision.

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