A PROGRAMME to bring broadband to rural parishes has received national recognition.

Worcestershire County Council were shortlisted in the Team of the Year category in the prestigious National Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards 2014/15.

They were recognised for procuring Airband to provide broadband to 14 rural parishes in the county, ahead of the national Superfast Broadband programme.

Cllr John Campion, the county council's cabinet member for transformation and commissioning, said: "Even though we weren't winners on the day, it is still a big achievement to be shortlisted for a National GO Award.

"Great teamwork and localism, underpinned the successful procurement for the Community Pathfinder projects, and the broadband programme as a whole, and I am pleased this has received the recognition it deserves."

The team representing the County's local members, officers and residents, who volunteered their time to procure and secure the contract awarded to local business Airband, were presented with their finalist award at a ceremony in Birmingham's Hilton Metropole Hotel on Wednesday, March 19.

The procurement exercise brought access to faster broadband infrastructure to 200 business and 2,000 residential premises across 14 parishes in rural Worcestershire that were unlikely to receive faster broadband otherwise.

The GO Awards recognise and reward excellence and achievement in the multibillion-pound public sector.