Gresham House’s British Strategic Investment Infrastructure Fund (BSIF) invested £50m for a controlling interest in Cornish broadband provider Wildanet.

BSIF’s capital commitment will help Wildanet to continue to upgrade and expand its network into underserved homes and businesses of Cornwall.

Gresham House said the funding commitment will be released across a series of milestones and may be supported by successor vehicle(s) to BSIF.

Wildanet, which was established in 2017, has developed a fixed wireless network which already passes 30% of Cornwall’s properties.

Peter Bachmann, fund manager at Gresham House, said: “Wildanet’s focus on digital inclusion for all of Cornwall, not just the easy to reach homes and businesses, allows us to invest to make a meaningful economic and social impact in line with BSIF’s strategy and objectives of backing innovative new Sustainable Infrastructure projects.

“Our investment will help Wildanet to provide a great network for Cornwall, using the best available technology to create a truly gigabit-capable network that is vastly superior to and materially more energy-efficient than copper-based broadband.”

Ian Calvert, Wildanet’s CEO said: “I’m delighted for Cornwall and for Wildanet that we have been able to secure this investment from Gresham House.

“It will enable us to expand our network across more of the county, deploying fibre whilst expanding our fixed wireless network and ultimately create new jobs in Cornwall.”

BSIF’s investment is supported by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) which is operated by appointed fund manager, The FSE Group, who initially invested in Wildanet in 2018.

Ralph Singleton, head of funds Cornwall at The FSE Group said: “This is one of the largest investments into Cornwall in recent years and demonstrates the work and the opportunities that our funding can go on to create.

“We look forward to working with Gresham House to help Wildanet deliver their expansion plans and are delighted to continue supporting the company through the next stage of their development.”

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