Worcestershire County Council is pleased to announce its success in securing a grant to offer free WiFi access in all public libraries across the county.
As part of The Government's scheme to ensure all libraries in England have free Wi-Fi access, the county council has managed to secure over £100,000 through Arts Council England. This funding will enable new installations in county libraries, and upgrades in those libraries that already have Wi-Fi by March 2016.
The fund supports the Arts Council’s goals around developing library services, ensuring that they are fit for purpose now and in the future. The scheme will provide further opportunities to extend library services, lead to growth in digital skills and develop important new partnerships that will benefit local residents. Easy access to free Wi-Fi will allow library users the flexibility to drop in, log on using their own devices and do what they need with ease and without fuss.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Localism and Communities said: "We are delighted to have been successful in our bid to enable new and improved Wi-Fi in our libraries. As more and more of our council services go online, it is important that we continue to enhance the facilities in libraries to give all residents the access to public and other online services they need."
Cllr Marc Bayliss, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Transformation and Commissioning said: "These funding schemes are a vital part of expanding the digital offer in libraries and give us a fantastic opportunity to do this in Worcestershire. Ensuring the county has access to free Wi-Fi boosts the digital economy and enables more people to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer."
Worcestershire County Council is one of 68 local authorities that have been successful in their applications and following the successful implementation of the application proposals, over 98% of public libraries in England will be providing access to free, good quality Wi-Fi by March 2016.