Northumberland County Council Maps Properties to Secure Broadband Funding

London, 6th March 2013 – Northumberland County Council has secured £21m in funding to help deliver superfast broadband to all residences and businesses.

A significant component of the project was to use the council’s local address dataset to aid the planning and procurement processes, which in turn would eliminate data inaccuracies, leading to better decision making and greater confidence in the data.

The national project did not identify or utilise council address data to its full potential, instead relying on data supplied indirectly from telecommunication establishments.  Once analysed by the council’s address management team, it was quickly realised that the data supplied had many inaccuracies such as telephone exchanges more than 3km from their actual position.

As a consequence, Northumberland’s project linked the council’s data to datasets supplied to the authority by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a unit within the Department for Media, Culture and Sport responsible for managing the Government’s broadband funding.

Following this, the BDUK action team, iNorthumberland, was advised that the council could match the exchanges to the council’s data and provide much more accurate data for the submission.  It was felt that this was vital as the location of these exchanges was being used to calculate distances to postcodes and this would form a basis of the cost analysis.

Additionally, the local address dataset was also used for identifying all properties for residential, commercial and other relevant classifications held, whilst separately identifying properties under construction.  

Ryan Gilchrist, LLPG Manager at Northumberland County Council explained, “As a rural community, it was felt that Northumberland’s local address dataset had a vital role in gaining the funding necessary to improve the community per the Government’s agenda and provided a solid platform for rolling out the funding that was ultimately secured.”

“The £7m of BDUK funding was matched by the council, whilst contractors rolling out the new broadband infrastructure will also be expected to match the fund.   As a result of the work, hugely assisted by our local address dataset, we have therefore secured £21m in funding.”

To find out more about local address datasets, visit

About GeoPlace

GeoPlace is a public sector limited liability partnership between the Local Government Association and Ordnance Survey.  GeoPlace’s role is to create and maintain the National Address Gazetteer and the National Street Gazetteer for England and Wales, providing definitive sources of publicly-owned spatial address and street data for Great Britain.  Through agreement with Scotland’s Improvement Service Company, coverage has been extended to include Scotland’.


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