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Businesses and residents in Cumbria are set for better broadband as a result of a multimillion pound government investment.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has awarded the county £16.8 million towards the project, ten months after it was named as a pilot site for super-fast broadband.

Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart said he was delighted with the investment, substantially higher than he had expected.

Talking to the News & Star, he said that during a meeting with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt last year, he was told it was "very unlikely" Cumbria would receive any cash for a broadband pilot.

"But in October, the chancellor announced that Cumbria would be a fourth national broadband pilot and promised us £5 – 10 million. I've put in a year of work and more than 100 meetings to secure this money for Cumbria.

"I'm really delighted that the final sum is even more than we were originally promised," he stated.

Ofcom's recently released broadband map shows that current broadband provision in Cumbria is worse than the Shetland Islands.

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