Investment and asset manager, Downing LLP, is pleased to announce it has closed a £145 million deal with Broadway Partners to accelerate a delivery programme to bring full fibre broadband to rural communities across Wales and Scotland. The funding will support Broadway’s aspirations to connect over 250,000 new homes to full fibre broadband by 2025 and will also help to speed up the company’s overall broadband delivery programme. The deal marks the first investment from Downing managed funds into fibre broadband, an area in which the company will continue to look for opportunities.
Broadway Partners launched in 2016 to deliver affordable, high-speed broadband services to the remote regions of the UK, particularly Wales and Scotland where there is a notable digital divide. Broadway is currently connecting villages in Pembrokeshire, Monmouthshire, Arran, Stirlingshire, Loch Ness and Perth & Kinross and is extending networks into Powys, Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Aberdeenshire and Argyll and Bute.
Downing is a responsible investor with a commitment to making investments that have a positive impact on communities across the UK and understands how important it is to empower rural locations with reliable, quick broadband for both work and leisure opportunities. Downing is investing capital on behalf of Bagnall Energy and Pulford Trading, companies managed as part of Downing Estate Planning Service.
Sean Moore, Investment Director at Downing LLP comments:
“Downing is delighted to be working with Broadway Partners to accelerate their plans to bring full fibre into Wales and Scotland. We believe that digital infrastructure, particularly in rural communities, is a key enabler of economic growth and social well-being within the communities that it serves. Specifically, gigabit cable fibre provides a long-term solution, ensuring that the targeted towns and villages are not left behind. We look forward to supporting Michael Armitage and Barry Weaver, Broadway’s CEO and COO, and their team with their growth ambitions over the coming years.”
Michael Armitage, CEO of Broadway Partners said:
“The investment from Downing managed funds will enable Broadway Partners to continue to accelerate the rollout of our rural broadband programme, offering vital connectivity to businesses and households in parts of the country that other providers can’t reach. “The pandemic highlighted the critical importance of high-quality digital infrastructure, for the economy, for the delivery of public services, and for the well-being of individuals and communities. We are fortunate to have benefited from having Souter Investments as our provider of funding and counsel since we launched and their expertise and guidance have been invaluable as we have grown from ambitious start up to ambitious challenger. We are looking forward to the next phase of the mission with Downing with confidence and optimism.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Downing LLP
Downing is a fast growing, entrepreneurial investment manager based in the City of London. We believe a great investment opportunity isn’t just financial, it’s a chance to invest in things that matter – our environment, our health, our society, our local communities and our economy. Our ability to adapt and innovate to create investment products for our customers is key to our growth and success and our core values are vital to everything we do – from the businesses we invest in to the people we hire.
When it launched commercial service in 2016, deploying the pioneering TV WhiteSpace technology on the Isle of Arran in Scotland, Broadway’s mission was to serve the connectivity needs of rural communities across the UK. The company has since developed network coverage across large swathes of Monmouthshire in Wales, and in Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, Inverness-shire and Stirlingshire in Scotland. With an initial Fixed Wireless focus, Broadway has now incorporated Full Fibre into its technology toolkit, allowing it to offer the most appropriate technology wherever it goes.