A small community and development organisation on an island has been awarded funding to install superfast broadband.

Based on South Uist, Cothrom's main focus is training adult learners but the group also includes a full-time Gaelic language nursery and a furniture restoration and upcycling enterprise called ReStore.

The social enterprise has signed a Community Fibre Partnership with Openreach, Scotland's digital network business, with BT Group providing a grant of 75% towards the £12,900 cost of installing superfast broadband. The remainder was paid from Cothrom's own funds.

Manager Kirsty MacCormick said: "Fast, reliable broadband will make a big difference to our work.

"It will revolutionise what we do. We have 20 staff now and superfast broadband will make a huge difference to their day-to-day work.

"The fast technology will open up a huge range of new learning opportunities to the organisation and facilitate our transition to e-learning and distance learning.

"We'll also be able to introduce new e-learning programmes and our staff will be able to access all kinds of online support.

"It wasn't always the case that we would be able to secure a community fibre partnership, so when we go live with superfast broadband in October we'll have reached a big milestone for Cothrom."

Over a full year Cothrom, which is based in Ormiclate, is involved in teaching around 180 adult learners while the Gaelic nursery looks after 23 children.

The Community Fibre Partnership scheme is designed to help people in places not included in any current roll-out plans to bring fibre broadband to their local area, working with Openreach to co-fund the installation.

If a local school benefits from the project, communities can also benefit from a BT Group grant that will cover up to 75 per cent of the cost, capped at £30,000.

Robert Thorburn, Openreach partnership director for Scotland, added: "Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to those areas that, for many reasons, broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.

"Independent data shows that around 93% of Scotland can access superfast speeds today, and we're committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible.

"That's why we're investing in hundreds of similar community projects across the UK, working in partnership with businesses, schools and residential communities to deliver faster speeds from a wide choice of competing service providers."