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14 February 2022: Foresight Group LLP (“Foresight”), a leading listed infrastructure and SME investment manager, has completed a significant investment into Connect Fibre, a community minded, full fibre network provider based in Cambridgeshire. This will accelerate the installation of a full fibre network across the East of England, bringing superior digital connectivity to households and businesses across the region.
Along with creating jobs, the roll out will deliver broadband of up to 1Gbps to over 100,000 homes and businesses currently served by ageing copper infrastructure. Not only will this enhance essential, local infrastructure, it will accelerate the development of a fast fibre network to support the UK’s digital ambitions.
The UK Government has committed to bringing gigabit-capable broadband to at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025. In 2021, 28% of UK premises have access to full fibre broadband. With changing behaviours and work patterns, the UK has seen a huge surge in demand for fast and stable digital communications, but it is estimated that an investment of £30bn over the next four years is required.
Foresight has an established track record across sustainable infrastructure, real assets and SME investing, delivering financial returns while making a positive contribution to the regions in which it operates. With a regional office and investment team located in the heart of Cambridge, since 2019, Foresight has partnered with eight businesses based in the East of England.
Connect Fibre has already developed a full fibre network in the village of Reach and is dedicated to bringing reliable full fibre broadband to the East of England.
Commenting on the investment, Anouska Morjaria, Investment Manager at Foresight, said: “We are looking forward to supporting Connect Fibre in its mission to revolutionise full fibre broadband connectivity across the UK. As evidenced by the pandemic, remote working and digital connectivity are essential for our modern lifestyles. Reliable, high-speed and accessible digital infrastructure forms an integral part of the UK’s National Infrastructure Strategy. The management team have extensive experience in this area, and we are impressed by their ambition and progress thus far.”
Stefan Stanislawski, CEO of Connect Fibre, added: “We’re thrilled with the backing received from Foresight. Connect Fibre builds full fibre networks and delivers to our customers a high-quality service at an affordable and competitive price. We strongly believe in our regional strategy and that starts with levelling up our first villages and towns.”
Advisers to Connect Fibre: Axxeltrova and Baker Botts
Advisers to Foresight included: CMS and Analysys Mason