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Broadband grant for Shropshire business

The Hub News Team | 25.5.18

£25,000 grant provides ultrafast broadband connection for Shropshire business.

gwazaltdGwaza Ltd will soon become the first business in the Shropshire Council area to benefit from a dedicated grant, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Shropshire Council. The £25,000 grant from the Marches & Gloucestershire Broadband Grant scheme will provide Gwaza with access to ultrafast broadband.

Gwaza was founded by John Price in 1967 primarily as an electric fencing manufacturer, known as Salop Fencing Ltd. The company expanded into gate and general steel fabrication serving the agricultural, automotive and industrial sectors. As their distribution into the aftermarket for engineers, agricultural dealers and retailers developed, the company was re-branded as Gwaza Ltd.

CommsCo have been selected by Gwaza to install a dedicated service of 300 Megabits per second both download and upload, which will significantly enhance the company's digital capability.

Managing Director Victor Edwards highlighted the key benefits the new service will bring: "Our IT focus is yielding growth that is outstripping the currently available Internet infrastructure. In recent years Gwaza has invested heavily in technology to streamline and expand our business. We have our own B2B website, catalogue, product information, and ordering portal, providing web shops and ordering portals for a small number of dealers.

"This has led to trialling customer order processing systems which are offered to the dealer to allow them to pass through orders direct from their online platforms. We are also trialling remote warehouses in Europe, operated by our dealers. The dealers also utilise online systems to manage stock, process orders, request deliveries etc. so our broadband infrastructure is crucial.

"Currently Gwaza is fortunate that many of their customers access their website and order portals outside of normal business hours, in a bid to avoid congested Internet traffic. By having access to an ultrafast synchronised service Gwaza customers will be able to order on demand, significantly improving the customer experience and ensuring next day delivery targets.

"To accommodate the increased level of order fulfilment, Gwaza anticipates hiring additional staff once the new systems are embedded and new customers are attracted. In time, Gwaza anticipates needing to invest further in their warehouse and packing facilities to accommodate the increase in demand."

Nav Mohammed Technical Director from CommsCo said: "Upon initial engagement with Gwaza, it became apparent that they required an ultrafast connection due to the nature of their business and bandwidth required for effective operation. Gwaza also needed a find a solution that would provide bandwidth expansion to allow for continued growth."

A dedicated Fibre to the Premises connection was identified as the most reliable and economically viable technology solution to fulfil the customer requirement.

Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, commented: "It's great to see a Shropshire business benefitting from this grant scheme, which can fund up to 100% of the cost of installing a superfast broadband connection. I would encourage any business or business park owner struggling with broadband connectivity to investigate their eligibility for one of these grants, which are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

"You might be surprised to hear that the Marches & Gloucestershire Broadband Grant scheme is under-subscribed and the last thing we want is to have to hand money back to Europe at the end of the project. The clock is ticking and all grant applications must be submitted by the end of December 2018."

The Marches and Gloucestershire Broadband Grant gives eligible businesses up to £25,000 to fund the installation of a superfast broadband connection.

If you run a business which cannot access speeds of over 30Mbps, and you are not already part of any current superfast broadband rollout plans, then you could be eligible for a grant.

Businesses wishing to find out more, please go to the following page on the Connecting Shropshire website: http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/business-broadband-grant/
Registering for the grant is a simple and easy process, but all applications for the grant must be completed before December 2018.

Businesses can also benefit from further business support through the Marches Growth Hub and get access to free support from a Business Adviser. For more information, go to: https://www.marchesgrowthhub.co.uk/about-us/shropshire/

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