Dean Creamer CBE has today started as the new Chief Executive Officer of Building Digital UK (BDUK) – the Executive Agency of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) in charge of delivering the government’s major digital infrastructure programmes to improve connectivity across the UK.
Dean becomes the Senior Responsible Officer for Project Gigabit and the Shared Rural Network and takes over from Paul Norris, who is leaving BDUK after three successful years.
Project Gigabit works with broadband suppliers to bring fast, reliable broadband to rural and hard-to-reach communities that would otherwise miss out. Over £2 billion of funding has already been made available as the programme continues to pick up pace. In July, BDUK launched a new cross-regional procurement set to benefit areas across England and Wales, and has now launched all of its planned procurements in England, a major milestone for the programme.
Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, said:
I am delighted to welcome Dean to BDUK. He joins as we look to build upon our significant recent progress rolling out gigabit-capable broadband and expanding 4G mobile coverage into hard-to-reach communities across the country, from the Scottish Highlands to the Jurassic Coast.
I would like to thank Paul Norris for three successful years at the helm of BDUK. Project Gigabit and the Shared Rural Network have made excellent progress under his leadership. We are set to reach more homes and businesses than expected in 2022 to 2023, putting us well on track to meet our ambitious targets for improving digital connectivity nationwide.
Prior to joining BDUK, Dean was Director of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Blythe House Programme. He was awarded a CBE for public service in the 2023 New Year Honours. He has previously led UK government programmes to improve digital connectivity in cities as Programme Director for the Super Connected Cities initiative and before that worked on preparations for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, for which he was awarded an OBE in 2013.
Dean is a graduate of the government’s Major Projects Leadership Academy and was the Head of Profession for Project Delivery and its £9 billion of major government programmes within DCMS since 2017.
Simon Blagden CBE, Chair of BDUK, said:
I would like to add my thanks to Paul for his commitment and dedication to BDUK. Going forward, Dean brings a wealth of relevant experience and a passion for our work and I am looking forward to working closely with him. As one of the government’s most significant delivery programmes, I look forward to BDUK continuing to innovate and thrive under his leadership.
Notes to Editors
Building Digital UK
Building Digital UK (BDUK) is an executive agency of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). We are responsible for the rollout of gigabit-capable broadband and the expansion of 4G mobile coverage in hard-to-reach areas of the UK. We work with suppliers and communities to ensure that people can access fast and reliable digital connectivity that can transform their lives.
Project Gigabit is the government’s flagship £5 billion programme to enable hard-to-reach communities to access lightning-fast gigabit-capable broadband. It targets homes and businesses that are not included in broadband suppliers’ commercial plans, reaching parts of the UK that might otherwise miss out on getting the digital connectivity they need.
The fast, reliable connections delivered by Project Gigabit will level-up mostly rural and remote communities across the UK, as well as tackling pockets of poor connectivity in urban areas. Project Gigabit will grow the economy, with new digital infrastructure delivering better-paid jobs and creating opportunity right across the country.
Having the fastest broadband means households no longer have to battle over bandwidth, people enjoy the freedom to live and work more flexibly, businesses increase their productivity, and vital public services thrive.
Having the fastest connections also means the UK is fit-for-the-future, with broadband infrastructure designed to deliver for people’s needs for decades to come.
Shared Rural Network
The Shared Rural Network is a £1 billion government deal with the UK’s four mobile network operators (EE, Three, VMO2 and Vodafone) to improve 4G coverage and level-up connectivity across the UK.
The public and private investment in a shared network of phone masts will significantly improve mobile coverage for an extra 280,000 premises and 16,000km of roads right across our country – giving the UK the world-class digital infrastructure it deserves.
Improvements in 4G coverage will mean more people can stay connected, shop online and stream entertainment on the go, wherever they are in the UK. It will also power economic growth, helping people set up and run businesses from anywhere in the country.