Cash boost to libraries’ free wifi hotspots

Bedford Central Library PNL-140218-172102001
Bedford Central Library PNL-140218-172102001

Connecting to the internet on-the-go should become easier as the borough’s libraries get a cash boost to upgrade their free wifi hotspots.

The Arts Council has handed the borough council a £15,695 grant to “provide and enhance free wifi to library users”.

Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland said: “This grant will be used to improve access to digital services through all our libraries and enable more people to take advantage of everything the internet has to offer.

“It will support the installation of free public wifi in our Bromham and Wootton Libraries, and an upgrade of the wifi capability in the borough’s Bedford Central, Putnoe and Kempston libraries.”

Bedford Borough Council is one of 68 local authorities across England to receive funding from the Arts Council from its wifi in Public Libraries in England fund. The Arts Council is investing £2.6million in these 68 projects.

The aim is that by March 2016, more than 98 per cent of public libraries will be able to provide the most widespread opportunities in the country for people to connect to free, good quality wifi on their laptops, smartphones and tablets.

The fund supports the Arts Council’s goals around developing library services, ensuring that they are fit for purpose now and in the future.