Gresham House-backed Wildanet awarded £36mn to connect nearly 20,000 rural homes and businesses to lightning-fast broadband

Press Release - 19 January 2023

Press Release - 19 January 2023

Gresham House-backed Wildanet, the Liskeard-based provider of ultrafast reliable broadband, has been awarded new contracts worth £36 million to connect 19,250 hard-to-reach homes and businesses in South West and Mid Cornwall.

The two contracts, part of the government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit (F20) programme, will create 200 new skilled jobs in Cornwall, in addition to the 150 already created, providing a further economic boost for the region. Wildanet’s Training Academy and well-established apprenticeship programme will ensure these jobs can be taken by people already living locally.

Work will start immediately to survey rural homes and businesses from Newquay to Fowey and Otterham to Portloe and building work will begin to connect these to the fastest broadband on the market as early as this summer. Wildanet is also already investing more than £50 million in its high-speed broadband network across Cornwall and Devon following a £50 million backing from Gresham House’s Sustainable Infrastructure strategy in 2020. A recent study found that for every £1 invested in Digital Inclusion, £15 is generated in economic, social, and environmental benefits for the Cornish region.

Gresham House’s Sustainable Infrastructure strategy invests in projects that offer profitable, innovative solutions to key environmental and societal challenges. As part of this approach, the strategy actively supports the government’s £5 billion ‘F20’ and broader Levelling Up commitments, helping those in rural and hard-to-reach areas gain access to transformational gigabit-capable services through its investments in Wildanet, GoFibre and Telcom respectively.

Peter Bachmann, Managing Director and Co-Fund Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure at Gresham House said:

“Funding broadband for rural communities, which we call Digital Inclusion, offers enormous economic and social benefits while generating attractive returns for investors. These sizeable new contracts will build on the brilliant progress already being made by the Wildanet team to help improve connectivity and productivity in one of the UK’s poorest regions. As well as creating 200 new jobs and immediately boosting the local economy, we’re proud to be supporting two vitally important infrastructure projects that will help to unlock lasting opportunities for communities across Cornwall. We’ve shown that for each £1 invested in Digital Inclusion we can generate £15 worth of economic, social, and environmental benefits for the region.”

Helen Wylde, Wildanet Chief Executive Officer said:

“This is great news for remote communities in Cornwall as we continue to connect homes and businesses to full-fibre broadband in non-urban areas, with the economic and social transformation that brings. The funding will help to breathe new life into Cornwall’s rural communities and give people access to the opportunities that gigabit broadband provides. It will also send out a positive signal to remote communities across the country who, to date, do not have the broadband connectivity to benefit from the digital age that many of us now take for granted in our daily lives”.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Julia Lopez, said:

“From Tintagel to Tredavoe, we are investing millions of pounds to connect almost 20,000 homes and businesses across Cornwall to lightning-fast broadband. This will generate growth and opportunity for people in the region’s rural communities. The move is part of the government’s flagship £5 billion Project Gigabit programme to spread fast, reliable and fit for the future broadband to rural and remote communities in the UK.”




For further information

Media enquiries
Jack Holden | +44 (0)7917 116 004
Abbie Anderson | +44 (0)7944 157 798

Investment enquiries
Gresham House
Peter Bachmann |

Notes to editors

About Gresham House’s Sustainable Infrastructure team and the BSIF strategy

The Sustainable Infrastructure team at Gresham House seeks to invest in real asset-based solutions that tackle the key environmental and societal challenges faced by humanity. The team’s British Sustainable Infrastructure Strategy (BSIF) invests in innovative sustainable infrastructure projects and comprises two closed-ended flagship funds and four locally focused co-invest funds with 12-year horizons. By investing in activities supporting digital inclusion, job creation, resource efficiency, improving health and social care, or delivering environmental benefits, the strategy aims to have a positive social and environmental impact on the UK. BSIF is backed by seven leading local authority pension funds (LGPS), one Treasury investor and family offices.

About Gresham House 

Gresham House is a specialist alternative asset management group, dedicated to sustainable investments across a range of strategies, with expertise across forestry, housing, infrastructure, renewable energy and battery storage, public and private equity. Our origins stretch back to 1857, while our focus is on the future and the long term. Quoted on the London Stock Exchange (GHE:LN) we actively manage £7.5bn of assets (30 September 2022) on behalf of institutions, family offices, charities and endowments, private individuals, and their advisers. We act responsibly within a culture of empowerment that encourages individual flair and entrepreneurial thinking. As a signatory to the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), our vision is to always make a positive social or environmental impact, while delivering on our commitments to shareholders, employees, and investors.

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