Digital Region to repay £27m to EU Europe

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Over £13m will have to be repaid by South Yorkshire councils to the European Union because of the £160m Digital Region superfast broadband flop.

The authorities must find between £13m andf £14m after deciding to shutdown the network. The final plug will be pulled on August 14.

The European Union gave a £27m grant to the scheme to bring superfast broadband to the county. But strict rules around regeneration funding mean it must be repaid for failing to meet targets for economic improvement and job creation.

Last year, business minister Michael Fallon revealed the Government would have to repay at least 45 per cent of the grant.

Digital Region cost £90m to set up and about £70m to shutdown.

A spokeswoman for the local authorities said: “In line with European Union regulations, between £13 million and £14 million of ERDF funding will be repaid.”

John O’Connell, director, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “This entire project has been a shambles from start to finish.”