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York Eyes Next Phase in Super-Connected Cities Programme


9:15am 4th June 2013

City of York Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve funding to take eight projects forward as part of the Super-Connected Cities (SCC) programme, at a meeting today (4 June 2013).

If approved, Cabinet would authorise the Council’s contribution to the programme of  £869,000, alongside the implementation of a Digital Strategy to steer the new investments, guided and advised by the creation of a Digital York Board.

The Government’s announcement in December 2012 saw York become one of 12 cities across the UK to achieve SCC status. The city was subsequently awarded £2.7million funding from a share of the £50million SCC programme fund. The council is using this funding to enhance citywide digital connectivity across a range of exciting and innovative projects, accelerating York’s programme of work to become the most digitally connected city in Europe by 2015. 

Cllr James Alexander, Labour leader of City of York Council said: “Digital technology as a fast, reliable and secure infrastructure has become as important for businesses, residents and visitors as the traditional infrastructure of road and rail. Independent research suggests that the return in Gross Value Added (GVA) for an economy is £15 for every £1 invested.

“The Super-Connected Cities Programme of work in York will boost York’s economic competitiveness, transform the delivery of public services across the city and enhance the quality of life for our residents, in particular some of York’s most vulnerable and hard pressed communities.”

City of York Council say that York’s Super-Connected City project focuses on eight agreed innovative projects including:

·      Business Growth - A grant scheme that would provide up to a significant contribution towards the cost of the provision of connection to the premises, for those businesses York.

·      3x Wireless Projects - Three interconnected wireless projects for the city centre, business parks and also York’s main  public transport with a focus on park and ride routes.

·      Digital Education - Integrating schools and their communities through digital applications, so that the best resources are available to all. Schools would be equipped to use dedicated tele-presence/ videoconferencing suites and interactive online tools, to build on existing partnerships and developing joint learning.

·      Telecare and Telehealth – The provision of specialist equipment to allow remote diagnostics for residents by health professionals.  The project would see one or two pilot areas to showcase the possibilities where residents have special medical needs.

·      Digital Inclusion - The provision of free wi-fi through a neighbourhood hub in pilot areas to enable fast broadband access, which is affordable, and to provide dedicated training in digital based skills.

·      Large-Screen Technology – The provision of large screens in the city centre to communicate with residents and visitors, and to promote York as a destination for investment. 

The council’s bid to the Super-Connected ities Programme Fund was supported by the York Economic Partnership, Leeds City Region LEP,  York, North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP,  York Clinical Commissioning Group, Visit York,  Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Aviva and  TransDev (Yorkshire Coastliner).

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