Road signs, street lights, bus shelters and CCTV poles across Cheshire are set to be used to improve mobile coverage as part of a new scheme to install more 4G and 5G infrastructure.

Eight pilot projects will receive a share of £4 million which has been made available as part of the government's Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator (DCIA).

This is designed to help local authorities share data with mobile companies in order to find suitable sites for 4G and 5G technology.

Smaller 'cell sites' such as bus shelters and road signs are essential for 5G coverage which is generated through a series of antennas and other telecoms equipment that can be placed to form a mesh, rather than having larger individual transmitters.

It can be difficult and time consuming for telecoms firms to acquire the information needed to verify a structure is suitable for hosting network equipment, which is where this scheme comes in. Software will enable local councils to share data that mobile companies need to accelerate their rollout plans more easily, meaning that better connectivity can be achieved.

Forty-four local areas are expected to benefit from faster and more reliable mobile coverage, which may lessen the need for new masts. If successful, the technology could soon be rolled out to local authorities across the UK.

Eddisbury MP, Edward Timpson, said: "One of the core missions of this Government’s Levelling Up Agenda is getting everyone, in every corner of the UK, better connected and ending the digital divide.

"These plans—which will slash red tape from the 5G rollout and boost mobile phone connectivity—are another step forward in this mission, improving mobile coverage for people across Cheshire.

"I am committed to levelling up Eddisbury, and this boost for businesses and households alike takes us another step further in delivering on that goal as we build back better."

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Julia Lopez, said: "We want to see better mobile coverage rolled out as quickly as possible, but mobile companies are finding it difficult to get the data they need to check that a lamppost, bus shelter, or public building is suitable for hosting their kit."