GREATER Manchester could be set to have the highest broadband speeds in the UK after combined authority bosses issued a major contract.

The £32m tender to "future-proof" the region's connectivity could see public sector sites in Bolton, Bury, Oldham and other towns connected with up to 450km of new fibre cables.

Funding for the project comes from the government's Local Full Fibre Networks Programme, which provided £23.8m of funding to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to install full-fibre capability at public sites.

GMCA leader Andy Burnham, said the network of high-speed connections would "supercharge" Greater Manchester.

He said: “Connecting Greater Manchester’s public sector sites in this way will supercharge our digital capacity and trigger major private investment.

"As well as revolutionising our online public services, it will provide a huge boost to Greater Manchester’s economy and productivity, cementing our position as one of the leading digital city-regions in Europe.”

Mr Burnham hopes this scheme of investing in fibre networks could encourage further private sector investment of over £200m.

The mayor also predicts that it could be worth over £2.1bn to the region's economy over the next 15 years.