STIRLING Council’s transformational rural broadband programme has been recognised with a prestigious national award.

On Thursday, October 10, the local authority scooped the Scottish Government’s Delivering Excellence Accolade at the 2019 COSLA Awards in St Andrews.

Stirling Council leader, cllr Scott Famer, and convener of the Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, cllr Chris Kane, accepted the award on behalf of the council, its partners and the various community organisations involved in the pioneering project.

Local government minister Kevin Stewart presented the prize at the event, which champions the very best in Scottish local authorities by highlighting ground-breaking projects that adapt to the challenges and opportunities faced by communities.

Convener of the Finance and Economy Committee, cllr Margaret Brisley said: “A massive congratulations to our hardworking staff, partners and community groups who have been recognised nationally for their life-changing work in rolling out this essential infrastructure in our rural areas

“This major award is a fantastic fillip for everyone involved in the project and it justifies our investment in this project. It also fuels our resolve to continue connecting our remote communities, which is a key council priority.”

Backed by £300,000 of annual capital funding, the council’s programme supports rural communities in the development of tailored broadband solutions, boosting economic growth and allowing residents to access to vital services.

Across Stirling, 18 innovative schemes are at various stages of completion, with six projects live - Balquhidder, Argarty & Kilbryde, Stockiemuir, Trossachs, Carron Valley and Auchenteck. 

Free public Wi-Fi in Aberfoyle town centre is also up and running, benefiting businesses, local people and visitors in the area.