Over 200 residents in Castle Vale, Birmingham have signed up to take advantage of a scheme to get online and get to grips with the internet, thanks to a pilot project led by Castle Vale Community Housing Association (CVCHA) and CommunityUK.net, supported by the City Council’s Digital Birmingham team.
CVCHA, a resident focused housing provider based in North East Birmingham, working with CommunityUK.net, a wireless internet service provider and digital inclusion specialist, has launched one of the largest free Wi-Fi schemes in the UK providing free internet connectivity, training and support.
CVCHA chief executive Peter Richmond said: “We want Castle Vale to become Birmingham’s first ‘Digital Neighborhood’. By tackling digital inclusion at many levels it will create the opportunities for people to connect with us and with friends and relatives, buy goods and services, access jobs and prepare those who need it for Universal Credit as well as being a test bed for trialing new applications and services.”
Included in this programme will also be the launch of the local Castle Vale and Birmingham CommunityUK websites, bringing residents local news, events, information and more together with integrated, direct access to the new Universal Credits system, web content and functionality from CVCHA and Birmingham City Council and much more.
A new local UK Online Learning Centre will be set up to support the project while other digital initiatives covering areas such as e-health services and smart metering will also be rolled out as part of the project over the coming weeks and months.
Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Green, Safe and Smart City and Chair of Birmingham’s Smart City Commission, Cllr. James McKay commented:
“Helping citizens to be part of the online world so that they can solve the problems that matter the most to them and their communities is at the heart of supporting a more prosperous and better way of life for citizens. Our aim is to look at how we build on this opportunity to support affordable, reliable connectivity that is accessible anywhere in the city.”