Knaresborough is the latest town centre to see the introduction of free public access Wi-Fi aimed at increasing footfall as more people are encouraged to work from home.
North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council, in partnership with NYnet, are delivering the scheme in the Harrogate district. It has already been rolled-out in Ripon, with Harrogate soon to follow.
The County Council is introducing the scheme in 16 market towns across the county in a bid to support recovery and growth for communities and businesses. Harrogate Borough Council has provided £300,000 to provide extra coverage across the district.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “As the Government has imposed new working from home guidance it’s more important than ever to encourage people to continue visiting town centres and supporting local businesses. We have already seen many towns benefit from the scheme in 2021 which represents the latest investment to improve North Yorkshire’s digital infrastructure.”
Councillor Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources, Enterprise and Economic Development, said: “Providing free Wi-Fi in public spaces supports our economic growth strategy which aims to make the Harrogate district the best place to live, work and visit.
“This has already been rolled out in Ripon and we’re equally excited to support this scheme in Knaresborough, in partnership with the County Council and NYnet.”
Free public access Wi-Fi offers opportunities for people with limited or no broadband to access vital local council, government and health services and take part in the digital economy.
A £3.6m investment was awarded by the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of its allocation from the government’s Getting Building Fund.
David Dickson, Chair of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Infrastructure & Joint Assets Board, said: “Improved digital connectivity is vital for the local economy so we’re delighted to see the continued progress of this work. Our region has ambitions to become a greener, fairer, stronger economy and schemes like this will help us get there.”