Residents in the Harperigg area of Kirknewton have been awarded £14,470 to develop improved broadband in the area. The residents, who form a committee of the board of Kirknewton Community Development Trust, received the funds from West Lothian Council Development Trust, who distribute funds from wind farm community benefit. The residents are eligible to receive up to 30% of windfarm funds through this committee, being 10k from the windfarms in the area.
The residents intend to set up and maintain a community broadband network for the houses in the Harperrig area that are currently not in receipt of this service. 48 houses have been identified as having no access to broadband by West Lothian Council, and this project seeks to initially connect 24. It will then make connections much easier for the remaining households should they choose to follow this method.
This is coupled with the village of Kirknewton winning a national competition to install super fast fibre broadband. Improving broadband in the area was identified in the Kirknewton Community consultation, in which 25% of the population participated. It was expected this was to be completed in 2020 but with the Virgin Media installation and this project, co-ordinated by the residents around Harperigg, improved broadband could be here much sooner.
The residents have to find an additional 30% of the funds (the whole project costing £18,200 in the first year) and organise planning for a main relay from Cairns Farm. Well done to the residents in the area who made this happen.
If you are unfamiliar with the area of Kirknewton you can park your car at Harperigg Fisheries, thanks to LandTrust funds of £25,000 for a car park KCDT developed with West Lothian Council last year, and walk around the Harperigg reservoir. A Kirknewton map of the area will be delivered to your door soon. Meantime find out more about places to visit and walks in the local area here