Department for Culture Media and Sport

urban programme

In the 2011 Autumn Statement the Chancellor set out details of a new £100 million Urban Broadband Fund (UBF) to create up to ten super-connected cities across the UK with ultrafast broadband (80-100Mbps) connectivity.

First wave of super-connected cities

Following open competition, the Chancellor announced in the 2012 Budget that Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle will receive support from the fund over the next three years to deliver these speeds. We announced in September 2012 the following funding allocations for these cities:

 City  Up to maximum
 Belfast  £13.7m
 Birmingham  £10m
 Bristol  £11.3m
 Cardiff  £11m
 Edinburgh  £10.7m
 Leeds-Bradford  £14.4m
 London  £25m
 Manchester  £12m
 Newcastle  £5.7m

Second wave of super-connected cities

In the 2012 Budget, the Chancellor also announced a further £50 million for the UBF to enable at least ten ‘smaller cities’ to become super-connected. The eligibility criteria for this second wave of UBF were published in May 2012 and set out that to be able to bid for the fund, cities must have a Royal Charter and more than 45,000 homes and businesses, or more than 35,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland.

Cities applying for the second wave were encouraged to focus on maximising the availability of broadband at 80-100Mbps, city-wide high-speed wireless connectivity and have detailed plans to drive take-up from residents and businesses – all with a particular focus on Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and strategic employment zones to support economic growth.

Following the bid process and the Secretary of State’s final decision, the Chancellor announced the winning second wave of cities in the 2012 Autumn Statement.


 Aberdeen  Brighton and Hove  Cambridge  Coventry 
 Derby  Derry/Londonderry   Newport  Oxford
 Perth  Portsmouth  Salford  York

As was the case with the first ten cities, the availability of funding is subject to State Aid approval and a demonstrably viable business case.