RESIDENTS of Matfen can now celebrate the installation of superfast broadband after a long campaign to bring the village up to speed with others across the county.

After being excluded from Northumberland County Council’s first broadband roll-out as part of the iNorthumberland programme, local county councillor Veronica Jones and Hexham’s MP Guy Opperman led a campaign to bring the service to Matfen.

Coun. Veronica Jones said: “I’m delighted that people in Matfen can access superfast broadband now; it has taken a long time. Around four years ago, Matfen had one of the highest number of people in the county to sign up saying they would like it, but it came quite far down the list as it was quite expensive to put it in.

“I’m really relieved that we have now got it for Matfen, but there’s still a way to go as the rest of Matfen parish doesn’t have it, just Matfen village, and we are still working on the areas further out.

“When people take up broadband, BT has to pay money back into the pot, so the more people who take it up, the more chance there is for outlying areas to receive funding.”

As one of the first villages in Tynedale to be upgraded to the technology in the second phase, more than 100 homes and businesses in the Matfen area are now able to order fibre broadband from their chosen service provider.

Mr Opperman said: “It is excellent to see yet another location connected up to better broadband.

“Faster speeds are vital for the success of the local economy, and steadily through the Government’s SuperFast Britain programme we are connecting even more homes and businesses. We still have a way to go, but the direction of travel is clear and immensely encouraging.”

A team from iNorthumberland will visit Matfen Village Hall today, from 10am to noon, to explain the benefits of fibre broadband and answer questions.