A SCANDINAVIAN broadband giant is set to invest £10 million in Colchester’s online infrastructure in a move which could boost the town’s economy by tens of millions of pounds.

Swedish operator VX Fibre will work with Colchester Council’s commercial arm, Colchester Amphora Trading, under a co-operative agreement to access part of the council’s housing estate and improve facilities.

By the end of the year the plan is to improve infrastructure in Greenstead, Wivenhoe and West Mersea - areas with poor coverage.

Colchester Council has already secured £3.45 million from the Department for Culture, Media, Sport and Digital as part of the Government’s Local Full Fibre Network Fund.

Through this the council will provide the core skeleton network across the town centre, as well as at its Northern Gateway development and the eastern side of town.

VX will then build on wider connections to communities further afield by adding more network equipment.

Once the project is complete the entire urban area of the borough should have access to ultrafast broadband.

Social housing tenants will also be able to secure pure-fibre services first and VX says its prices will be cheaper than what is already available.

Estimates say the upgrade of Colchester’s broadband network will bring an added £185 million to the town’s economy.

Cabinet members agreed unanimously to push ahead with the scheme.

Housing boss Adam Fox said it was a fantastic opportunity for the council.

“Because of the decision taken some time ago by the council to retain control of our housing stock we are now able to secure this additional investment from Housing Revenue Account and housing stock we own,” he said.

Resources boss David King added: “It signals Colchester is a destination for ambitious companies seeking to make change which benefits them as well as benefits our residents.

“This kind of investment is cutting edge, it helps start ups to grow and helps entice digitally aware businesses into the borough.”

VX is already working on a similar project with Stoke City Council and plans to move in to up to seven more UK cities after Colchester.