MORE than 100 homes and businesses in the Brig o’ Turk area will now be able to enjoy world-class connectivity thanks to Stirling Council’s award-winning rural broadband programme.

Trossachs Community Council were awarded £50,000 by the local authority for the innovative project which uses both fixed wireless and TV White Space technology to connect people in this remote and hilly area.

The scheme, which saw the community link up with broadband firm Broadway Partners, went live in November, with 72 residential premises and 30 businesses part of the network.

It is the latest community to benefit from the council’s rural broadband expansion, which recently received two major accolades - the Scottish Government’s Delivering Excellence Award at the 2019 COSLA Excellence Awards and the UK-wide Independent Network Co-operative Association (INCA) Gold Prize.

Stuart Oliver, senior manager for economic development and communities at Stirling Council said: “Having access to superfast broadband is truly transformative for rural residents and business, and the completion of this innovative project is fantastic news for people in the Brig o’ Turk area.

“This is another excellent example of the council working in partnership with local people and other agencies to deliver tailored broadband solutions.

“Collecting two national awards was a brilliant boost for everyone involved in the programme and it reaffirmed our resolve to connect more rural communities. This latest announcement shows we are continuing to drive forward with this key council priority.”

Backed by £300,000 of annual capital funding, the council is supporting rural communities in the development of alternative broadband solutions, boosting economic growth and allowing residents access to vital services.

One full time equivalent rural broadband project officer, supported by the local authority and the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER programme, is also in place until March 2020, to provide technical, project and funding support to communities.

Across Stirling, there are 18 innovative schemes at various stages of completion, with six projects now live - Balquhidder, Argarty & Kilbryde, Stockiemuir, Trossachs (Brig o’ Turk), Carron Valley and Auchenteck. So far, this has enabled almost 600 households and businesses to benefit from the technology.

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