Ten areas across the UK have won a share of a £36 million government funding injection as they become designated 5G regions 

The funding was announced in July by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), aimed at turning local and regional authorities into ‘5G Innovation Regions’, ensuring that broader areas of the UK take advantage of advanced wireless connectivity. Each of the ten regions face individual and unique challenges which will be aided by the funding. The original announcement stated a budget of £40 million, which now appears to have been reduced to £40 million. 

Regions that were able to successfully demonstrate how they would adopt and develop 5G technologies across a variety of sectors were eligible for the funding, then becoming designated 5G regions. 

The funding competition is a key component of the government’s ‘Wireless Infrastructure Strategy’, to commit to its pledge to extend 4G coverage to 95% of the UK population. 

“We’re channelling millions into local areas to unlock the potential of cutting-edge 5G wireless and digital technologies which will reshape our public services, drive economic growth and boost innovation. This new fund will give local areas from across the country the opportunity to be at the forefront of Britain’s world-leading 5G revolution,” said Minister of Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale. 

“For instance, by using 5G for farming and creating science parks, we’re not just helping local communities, but also encouraging new ideas all over the UK. This is more than just linking smartphones. It’s about using powerful digital connections to transform various sectors in the economy and the public sector throughout the entire country,” he continued. 

The breakdown of the ten winners is as follows: 

  1. Belfast City Council – £3.8 million
    Use 5G tech to digitise port operations; ‘5G-in-a-box’ technology for high-capacity uplinks for on-location filming and production studios; and exploiting advanced wireless connectivity on transport routes. 
  2. Greater Manchester Combined Authority – £3 million
    5G-enabled heat pumps to accelerate the creation of Smart Energy Grids; and a digital road network to reduce congestion and carbon emissions .
  3. West Midlands Combined Authority – £3.8 million
    Scale proven 5G applications in advanced manufacturing and smart communities through new adoption hubs. 
  4. Oxfordshire County Council – £3.8 million
    Creation of 5G Science Parks at the Harwell campus in Oxfordshire supporting R&D in Quantum, Space, Health, and Energy Clusters.
  5. North Ayrshire Council – £3.8 million
    New Regional Strategic Wireless Innovation Hubs will place Ayrshire as a UK leader in advanced manufacturing by accelerating the adoption of digital and wireless technologies. 
  6. Sussex County Council – £3.8 million
    Develop and scale 5G applications to support future farming and growing practices that increase sustainable food and drink productivity. 
  7. Cumberland Council – £3.8 million
    Use 5G and advanced wireless tech at key sites across the Borderlands Region to demonstrate how it can help build the tourist economy, protect the environment and local businesses. 
  8. Shropshire Council – £3.7 million
    Embed advanced wireless connectivity technology at the heart of technological innovation across rural industries, water management and public services. 
  9. Sunderland City Council – £3.8 million
    5G-enabled port operations to enhance port competitiveness and safety, and Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems that improve road transport efficiency.  
  10. Glasgow City Council – £3.2 million
    Use Internet of Things and smart city applications for Asset Monitoring and Maintenance, Net Zero Social Housing, and Health and Social Care Monitoring.

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