Broadband upgrade is good news for Heanor

MDL100120A2 - Heanor gate industrial estate
MDL100120A2 - Heanor gate industrial estate

FIRMS on a Heanor industrial estate say new super fast broadband launched this week will help them to become major industry players.

After hearing that the town would miss out on a roll out of fibre-optic broadband in January last year, a group of Heanor Gate Industrial Estate businesses clubbed together to get the job done themselves.

But the rest of Heanor may have to wait until 2015.

Ripley and Alfreton will both see broadband using fibre-optics to street cabinets (FTTC) implemented this year as part of a £2.5 billion BT network upgrade.

Harry Skidmore , chief executive of Heanor Gate firm Easibind, said the printing business employing around 75 people, considered leaving the town because internet speeds were so slow. But now it is staying put.

He said: “It is fantastic news - some of the companies were really struggling here.

“Very large files were taking more than 24 hours to download before.

“Now even the biggest files we were trying to download over a whole day, take just three hours.”

Mr Skidmore explained: “It’s going to improve our competitiveness overall and will improve our ability to take on contracts.”

The Heanor Gate Management Association, chaired by Mr Skidmore, has been working with Amber Valley Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council for almost a year to implement the new broadband.

The two authorities contributed an extra £50,0000 in funding to help the firms towards the £200,000 needed to upgrade.

Phase one has seen the larger firms on the estate, Easibind International, Umeco Structural Materials, Promopack, Cullum Detuners and Autosplice Brittanic Ltd benefit from the internet speed boost.

Autosplice general manager Andy Tomlinson said: “The super fast broadband will give us the benefits of communicating with our global colleagues and will give us the ability to have large traffic flows through our engineering department. It was recently announced that this UK facility has been chosen to host the global technical centre for plastic technology.

“The super fast broadband has been vital in securing this.”

Operations director for Promopack Digital Studios Jayne Blake said: “Our customers could not understand why our speed of response, when sending and receiving digital files, was so much slower when compared to our competitors.

“This new installation puts not just Promopack, but all businesses on the Heanor Gate Industrial Park, in a great position to win new business in the East Midlands.”

It is not yet known when remaining 15 smaller firms on the industrial estate could benefit from the upgrade.