Partnership Agreement delivers fast fibre broadband for Auchengray

School children from Auchengray Primary
News from Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation (WAT IF)

Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax Improvement Foundation (WAT IF) are delighted to announce the signing of a Community Fibre Partnership agreement with BT which will see fast, fibre broadband extended to the Auchengray area.

As part of the 5% of the UK excluded from the national fibre broadband rollout, Auchengray was unlikely to see any improvement in digital connectivity in the longer term. However, thanks to a combination of WAT IF funding of £3,300 and a BT Community Fibre Partnership grant of £9,800 the community will now be able to 'fund the gap', allowing them to be included in the new fibre infrastructure roll out.

Community consultation carried out by WAT IF in 2012 identified poor digital connectivity as a key concern for the rural communities in and around Woolfords, Auchengray and Tarbrax. Since then, WAT IF has been working tirelessly to address this issue. The signing of this contract represents the completion of months of negotiations between WAT IF and BT to achieve the best possible Broadband result for the local community.

WAT IF Chair Pat Mavor said

"We are delighted to be able to make this announcement today and greatly welcome the improvements to digital connectivity in Auchengray. These will improve the lives of everyone in the community but particularly our young people."

It was the presence of Auchengray Primary School in the village, that was key to unlocking funding from BT’s Community Fibre Partnership grant scheme. The grant scheme 'contributes towards the cost of new fibre infrastructure, where that new infrastructure also serves a local school'.

Carol Pennock, Head Teacher, Auchengray Primary said:

"We are ecstatic that WAT IF have been able to secure with BT an upgrade to the broadband provision for Auchengray Primary and the surrounding area. Currently the provision of internet access severely restricts our ability to provide the pupils at Auchengray with the innovative and challenging opportunities required to develop their digital literacy skills to the fullest. Enabling our pupils to become digitally literate is a main focus for schools in Scotland and it is imperative that we are able to provide all pupils with access to technologies to enable them to be equipped for their future working life. I am really excited for all the future opportunities this is going to afford us at the school."

WAT IF Chair Pat Mavor also said:

"WAT IF are delighted to have delivered this outcome for the local area. However, happy as we are, we recognise that many of the outlying settlements in the WAT IF area will continue to experience poor digital connectivity. We promise to carry on working towards alternative solutions to address these issues wherever possible."

Visit the WAT IF website to find out more about the work of the Foundation.

Find out more about Community Fibre Partnerships