£2 million have been raised on a crowdfunding platform by an organisation tackling the problem of slow or non-existent broadband in rural areas of the UK. The organisation, called Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), has brought the money in through Triodos, with the investment coming from both retail investors and institutional investors, including the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation’s social investment fund.
“Investors from all over the UK have got behind us and will help us to connect more properties, more quickly than we would have usually been able to do. The future of B4RN is very exciting and we hope to reach our overall crowdfunding target, which will help us to significantly grow the network so more people and businesses benefit,” said Barry Forde, chief executive of B4RN.
The organisation is close to achieving its goals of £3 million. The capital raised will help B4RN – which is owned by its members and invests its profits back into the community – to quadruple its network to up to 20,000 properties by 2023.
“This investment will enable B4RN to substantially increase its network, to connect more and more houses, businesses, community groups and schools to the best broadband possible in the UK in some of our most rural communities. Our goal now is to reach £3 million, which will enable B4RN to quadruple its network by 2023,” added Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at Triodos Bank.