The European Regional Development Fund and Connecting Cheshire have invested £1.5m in high speed broadband.

They say the improved digital infrastructure will benefit 900 small and medium sized firms and create over 400 jobs.

The Connecting Cheshire Superfast Business service is to be delivered by Peninsula Enterprise and Groundwork Cheshire.

“This programme will help local businesses make the most of superfast broadband, improving performance and helping to create and safeguard jobs. It will provide a major boost to the Cheshire economy and the North West European Regional Development Fund programme is pleased to be supporting it financially,” said Sir Howard Bernstein, vice chair of the North West European Regional Development Fund local management committee.

The organisations claim that installing the fibre-optic broadband should create 478 jobs across Cheshire in the next 2 years and boost the economy by almost £19.5m.

Connecting Cheshire has just signed a £28.5m contract with BT to extend access to high-speed fibre optic broadband to 96% of all premises by 2016.

Eligible businesses, including those working in the digital and creative sectors will be able to get access to “fully-funded support” including a team of advisers and a programme of events.