A COMMUNITY project to bring hyperfast broadband to the Allen Valleys hopes to make its first connection in the spring.

The ambitious £100,000 scheme was launched by community group Broadband 4 Allen Valleys (B4AV) in 2017, in a bid to improve internet connections for 400 households and businesses.

B4AV’s leader, Mike Robinson, said: “We’re progressing really well and the recent bad weather hasn’t affected us too much.

“So far we’ve covered from Langley Dam to Sinderhope. We’re hoping our first live connection will be in the early spring.”

The project involves a core team of six members while dozens of local residents often help out with fibre blowing, splicing and digging.

It has also received support from Broadband for the Rural North, which is responsible for operating the fibre optic network.

The group is appealing for residents throughout the Allen Valleys to sign up to the rural broadband voucher scheme.

Mike added: “We will give people cash back when they are connected. All domestic properties get £150 when they connect and businesses get £300. Signing up to the voucher scheme is crucial.

“For rural Northumberland, hyperfast broadband schemes are the future because it’s the only way some communities will be able to get a good connection.”