A COUNCIL is drumming up support for its efforts to get superfast broadband for rural parts of County Durham.

Durham County Council has already secured £13.86m to provide the technology in much of the county and hopes to get an extra £1.53m through the Community Broadband Fund.

The authority needs to demonstrate that residents, businesses and other organisations in rural areas would take up superfast broadband if it was available.

People in the Teesdale and Weardale areas are being asked to complete and return a survey registering their interest in the service and drop-in sessions and meetings have also been organised.

Meetings will be held in Weardale on Tuesday (February 19) at Eastgate Village Hall, 11am to noon; Durham Dales Centre, Stanhope, 1pm to 3pm; Weardale Outdoor Centre, 3.30pm to 5pm; and the Frosterley Inn, 5.30pm to 6.30pm.

It will also be discussed at Weardale Action Partnership’s board meeting at Durham Dales Centre on Thursday, February 21, 6pm to 8pm.

In Teesdale there will be sessions on Wednesday, February 20, at Lunedale Community Centre,11.30am to 12.30pm; Mickleton Village Hall, 1pm to 3pm; and Middleton-in-Teesdale Village Hall, 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

Phil Jackman, the council’s head of ICT services, said: “The Digital Durham programme is really picking up pace and superfast broadband is set to become a reality across the county.

“The more people who get behind this initiative, the more successful it will be.”