Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill & District hails victory in Hollands Road Industrial Estate broadband campaign

Paul Donno, chair of Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill & District

Paul Donno, chair of Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill & District - Credit: Archant

More than 150 businesses on an industrial estate in west Suffolk are celebrating news that they are to get access to superfast broadband.

And Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has hailed the development as a victory following more than two years of lobbying.

The chamber launched a campaign to bring superfast broadband to the Hollands Road Industrial Estate in Haverhill after firms attending one of its networking events were told that the location was not a priority within BT Openreach’s roll-out programme.

Paul Donno, chair of Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill & District, said: “We couldn’t just stand by and see a significant segment of the town’s business community sacrificed in this way.

“Superfast broadband is absolutely essential for businesses wishing to compete nationally and internationally. So the chamber set about persuading two key sets of opinion-formers – BT and Better Broadband Suffolk on the one hand and the town’s political representatives on the other.”

A key element in the campaign was the collection of information from most of the firms on the estate as to the difference that having superfast broadband would make to their competitiveness. This was shared with BT and helped in persuading the telecoms company to look again at its plans for Haverhill.

Chamber representatives also explained their concerns to a broad range of local politicians, including Matthew Hancock MP, who helped support the campaign’s purpose.

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“There is a right and a wrong way to lobby big organisations to persuade them to revisit an earlier decision,” added Mr Donno. “I’m delighted that in this case – as in many others – Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill & District shows how the voice of business can be heard loud and clear.”

John Mayhew, a board member of Suffolk Chamber in Haverhill & District, said: “This good news is a further shot in the arm for the efforts of ONE Haverhill, of which the chamber is a part, in making this fantastic town as accessible and as attractive as possible to outside businesses looking to invest here.

“Things are really looking up for Haverhill now!”