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Two neighbouring local authorities have linked up to work on a new initiative designed to bring high-speed broadband to the countryside.

Gloucestershire County Council will work alongside Herefordshire County Council on the pilot project, having delivered a joint funding bid to Broadband Delivery UK.

This bid was successful, meaning up to 80 per cent of the Forest of Dean, plus parts of Gloucester and Tewkesbury stand to benefit.

But the two councils have been required to pledge an additional £300,000 each in order to get the fibre broadband rollout up and running.

Councillor Chas Fellows, Cabinet Member for the Economy and Environment at Gloucestershire County Council, commented: "Accessible fast broadband is seen as an increasingly important element of infrastructure for both business and the wider community.

"Indeed, many experts say next-generation broadband will be a key contribution to local business success, both to support existing firms and help attract new enterprises as well as giving a general boost to local economies."

He said that in difficult economic times, it is particularly important to help create a stronger, more secure economy in the county.

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