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Free WIFI and digital training for Blackburn residents

Published Monday 19 August 2019 at 13:55

Two Blackburn community centres will now be able to offer hundreds of residents better access to the digital world thanks to a partnership between 6G Internet, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and CVS.

Accrington Road Community Centre in Audley Range and ACT at the Cheethams on Lawrence Street have both been connected to permanently free broadband, thanks to 6G Internet. This will save each centre around £18,000 in installation, connection and equipment costs over the next five years alone.

Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and local IT support company Nybble have committed to providing refurbished computer equipment, with CVS also set to deliver training to upskill internet users.

Councillor Quesir Mahmood, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s executive member for digital and customer services:

This is a fantastic scheme for the residents in our borough. The introduction of new digital technologies across all areas of our lives has fundamentally changed how we do things – including how we all access services.

As a council, we are driving forward our Digital Strategy and a key part of that is tackling digital exclusion in our borough. Schemes like this will help make a big difference to our communities and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work.

Councillor Maryam Batan, elected member for Accrington Road’s Audley and Queens Park Ward, said:

I think the work that 6G Internet is doing is really good. Accrington Road is used by groups from across the borough and not everyone has internet access at home.

This type of social inclusion is extremely important for young people and older generations, who can now be introduced to some of the fantastic things about being online that many of us take for granted.

Ian Clough, digital social inclusion lead at 6G Internet, said:

Internet access is no longer a luxury, it is essential for anyone who wants to look for a job, find the best deals on finance or utilities or stay in contact with friends and family.

For families where money is especially tight, not having internet access can impact on their budgets, social lives and education. Through our partnership, we want to make sure more people have the connection, equipment and skills to make sure this is no longer a problem.

Garth Hodgkinson, chief executive of Community CVS said:

It is great to be supporting these two community venues, which are run entirely through voluntary effort.  Grassroots groups like Accrington Road Community Centre and Act at the Cheethams make such a massive difference to people’s lives.

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