Rural broadband groups land boost

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Image caption,
The funding should help the remote and rural areas improve their broadband provision

Five action groups in rural Scotland have secured government funding to help improve broadband services.

Sites in the Borders, Forth Valley and Lomond, Outer Hebrides, Orkney and South Lanarkshire will benefit.

The awards, which are being given through the Scotland Rural Development Programme's Leader Broadband Challenge Fund, total about £800,000.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said the projects were selected from 13 bids.

He said they could give "maximum value for money" for "relevant broadband provision".

The challenge fund was announced in July.

It has been estimated the successful bidders will be able to help dozens of businesses across the country.

A total of £9,500 will go to help improve sporadic broadband access on the Orkney Islands of Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre.

The Forth Valley and Lomond group will use almost £200,000 to pilot a powerful wireless connection for businesses and communities.

About £300,000 will go to the Borders project to help areas such as Whitsome, Upper Ettrick, Cranshaws, Ellemford and Longformacus.

A similar sum will assist the villages of Tolsta and Dalmore on the Isle of Lewis, Tolmachan and Huisinis on the Isle of Harris and Grimsay on North Uist.

The final award, of £45,000, goes to the South Lanarkshire communities around Gilkerscleugh and Crawfordjohn.

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