HAMPSHIRE is set to receive a major cash boost of £8.74m to help install superfast broadband in rural parts of the county.

Residents across the county are due to receive a big slice of the money allocated to the south-east that should help towards business start-ups and new jobs.

Mr Hollingbery said: “I have been a vociferous advocate of getting superfast broadband to the Meon Valley and other parts of Hampshire because it is a major driver to the rural economy - it creates jobs and wealth.

“It would appear this money will allow communities like Owslebury, Meonstoke and Droxford in my constituency get the superfast connection quicker than they anticipated and this is great news.

“The fact is this sort of infrastructure spending is vital if Britain is to remain competitive - it needs to be one of the best countries in the world for broadband.”

The £250m of extra funding - awarded on a match funding basis with local authorities - is in addition to the £1.2b already invested by central and local government to ensure 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband by 2017.

Hampshire is set to receive £8.74m from the total south east allocation of £21.56m.

The current rural programme aims to deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested.

Mr Hollingbery said the initiative “represented tremendous value for money that will lead to a £1.5b boost to local economies across the country and safeguard or create 35,000 jobs up to 2016.”