Providing a reliable and sustainable digital and utility infrastructure is essential to our economic potential, as well as being critical to the growth of sustainable communities.
Businesses told us that a key barrier to growth is access to consistent, high speed, digital technology. Greater Lincolnshire is on target to deliver the broadband coverage levels through the successful OnLincolnshire project, and with the infrastructure now almost complete, many have already benefitted.
Onlincolnshire estimate that approximately 91.5% of premises can access Superfast Broadband with an expectation that it will rise to 93.5% by the end of 2017, and 97% by December 2019. Access to 4G mobile connectivity also improving rapidly in the GLLEP area. We are also developing projects to help businesses make the most of this technology and to encourage take up.
Working with the various energy industries to ensure investment is made for the necessary infrastructure to unlock development in the right places, is also of critical importance.
It is widely recognised that, in addition to employment, transport and other economic factors, the cost of providing adequate utility services is a major cost consideration in planning employment and housing developments.
The geography of our LEP area, and the rurality of some development sites, can mean that the current provision of roads, water, sewerage, energy services and telecommunications may be insufficient to accommodate the level of growth required.
The provision of affordable and suitable employment and housing developments is dependent on the provision of sustainable infrastructure services including; roads, water, sewerage, energy services and telecommunications.
Availability of these services is critical to the growth of fully sustainable communities. Greater Lincolnshire is therefore committed to taking a stronger role in dialogue with utility providers to make a better case for investment, creating innovative approaches to accessing finance to unlock stalled developments and ensuring a reliable utilities infrastructure to support growth.
We are currently focusing a high priority on water infrastructure, which represents a major opportunity in Greater Lincolnshire.