Digital Durham, a programme which aims to boost broadband speeds for businesses and residents across the region has won a prestigious accolade.
The project, which is led by Durham County Council, has been named public sector project of the year at the Dynamites 17 awards.
The Dynamites are organised by Dynamo, a volunteer led group which seeks to grow the North East IT economy, and aim to reward successful organisations and individuals in the region.
Digital Durham sees the council work with several local authorities across the North East, including parts of the Tees Valley, to rollout superfast broadband to areas not included in commercial rollouts.
Since its launch in April 2013, the programme has helped almost 120,000 businesses and residents across the North East to get connected to faster and more reliable broadband.
Stuart Lynn, chair of the Dynamites judging panel, said: “We were delighted to award Digital Durham the Project of the Year, Public Sector award at the Dynamites.
“The partnership between the main stakeholders provided huge efficiencies in the results of this project.
“We were impressed with the collaboration between ten of the twelve councils in the North East to transform broadband speed in the region.
“As they said, this is the key to unlocking economic growth and will create more jobs, increase business opportunities and support education and learning.
“A great achievement for a great project.”
Cllr Joy Allen, the council’s Cabinet member for transformation, said: “We are delighted to receive this award which is recognition of our commitment to ensuring as many of our residents and businesses as possible have the opportunity to connect to superfast broadband.
“Faster broadband can really help local businesses to become more competitive and efficient. It can speed up vital operations such as file and data transfers, and open up new ways of working like video conferencing, all of which can also help cut costs.
“Superfast broadband plays an important role in keeping firms in an area and attracting more, with obvious benefits for the local economy.
“It can also help businesses to reach out to new customers from all around the world.”