Blackpool plans to become ‘smartest UK town’

A Blackpool partnership of businesses, the public sector, and the local community has come together to put forward a roadmap that will help it become the “smartest and best-connected” town in the UK.

Representatives from the community, health, transport, education and business, have pooled together ideas for the resort’s digital future, with a focus on improving citizen’s digital literacy, supporting tech start-ups and ensuring access to affordable high-speed broadband for all Blackpool residents.

It also seeks to capitalise on the installation of the North Atlantic Loop, a subsea fibre-optic cable connecting the UK to New York and mainland Europe, which landed on Blackpool’s shores in October last year.

The initiative sets out a nine-year plan and has £39.5 million funding from the Government’s Towns Fund.

“Blackpool Council has been delighted to be involved in the process of putting this Digital Vision together working with many partners across the area,” said Alan Cavill, Blackpool Council. “It is an exciting vision for the future, putting Blackpool at the heart of a digital future, we look forward to seeing it come to fruition”.

Tracy Hopkins from Citizen’s Advice Blackpool, said: “Developing an inclusive Digital Vision is vital for Blackpool to thrive. Digital inclusion is particularly important for communities to develop resilience and my involvement in the Digital Vision Workshops has been about ensuring more vulnerable communities are not left behind.”

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