VILLAGERS in a broadband black-spot had their hopes raised for better internet access as Openreach vehicles rolled on to the main road and work began.

But most residents of Hurworth and Hurworth Place, near Darlington, were left disappointed after it emerged that BT’s fibre broadband-installing business was connecting superfast cables to newly-built properties on the edge of the village.

A large team of Openreach staff closed off the main Hurworth-Croft Road last week and installed fibre cables from one exchange to another – but missed out many of the properties and estates in the village, only connecting those closest to the road and the new-build estates off Roundhill Road.

An Openreach spokeswoman suggested that the left-out properties should join together to try to access government funding for the scheme.

But Darlington Borough Council pledged to ensure its villages including Neasham and Hurworth were connected to fibre broadband by the end of 2020.

A council spokesman said: “We understand that BT Openreach will continue to extend and upgrade fibre technology in Hurworth, as well as other areas across the borough.”

It is understood that the council believes the work is planned for later stages.

An Openreach spokeswoman added: “Due to the cost and logistics of getting fibre technology from the main fibre route to individual premises or street cabinets there will still be some premises in the vicinity which will not be upgraded within this current phase of work.

“We would encourage those households to consider signing up to our Community Fibre Partnership Scheme which has central government funding available.

“More than 930 communities across the UK have already signed up, with more than 100,000 homes and businesses within those communities already upgraded.”

Schemes to connect rural parts of North Yorkshire and County Durham to the fibre broadband network over the last decade did not include villages in Darlington.