Free public wi-fi goes live in Yorkshire Dales town in bid to boost economy (From The Advertiser Series)
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Free public wi-fi goes live in Yorkshire Dales town in bid to boost economy
FREE public wi-fi has gone live in a Yorkshire Dales market town in a bid to attract more tourists.
Community leaders in Leyburn hope the innovative scheme will be welcomed by visitors using shops, cafes and pubs in the town’s squares.
The signal will reach the nearby Shawl, allowing walkers to take and share photographs from the popular beauty spot.
Users will need to register their email address, meaning a database of visitors will be maintained and targeted with details of offers and events.
The wi-fi is the first project undertaken by the new town team, which was launched after Leyburn was awarded £10,000 through a spin-off scheme from the national Mary Portas market towns initiative.
The team is made up of representatives from the town council, district council, Leyburn and Mid Wensleydale Business Association, local traders and residents.
The £850 needed for the wi-fi was taken from the £10,000, with contributions coming from the business association and town council.
Richard Sanderson, business association chairman, said the wi-fi scheme had been viewed as an “easy win”.
He added: “We hope people will use the service while sitting in the cafes or visiting the shops.
“They can also go up to the Shawl, take a picture and then email it to someone.”
Download limits will restrict wi-fi users from abusing the service. Anyone exceeding the limit will be temporarily banned.
The newly-formed town team is looking at other uses for the Portas money.
One possibility was using it for match-funding and to secure other grants to increase the money available for improvements in Leyburn, said Mr Sanderson.
Potential uses already suggested include a car charging point for electric vehicles and new stone panels for the town signs on all five roads leading into Leyburn.
Improvements to the paths leading from the pay-and-display car park to the market places have also been suggested. A survey has been launched to gauge opinions on the town centre and how it could be improved.
Mr Sanderson said: “We want to see what people want looked at and also what’s achievable.
“There’s no timeframe for using the money and there’s lots of flexibility but the overarching criteria is that it has to encourage more people to use Leyburn town centre.”
The survey can be completed on-line at surveymonkey.com/s/B96GQQS Questionnaires can also be obtained from to Leyburn Business Association, Thornborough Hall, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 5WY.
Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the survey.