Chorley Council launches plan to make town centre a free Wi-Fi zone for visitors and businesses
The days of running out of mobile data when out and about could soon be a thing of the past after plans were unveiled to bring a free Wi-Fi network to Chorley town centre.
Chorley Council is looking to introduce a 4G network to all parts of the town centre as part of its digital strategy to encourage more people to ‘get online’ – and complement the £16m Market Walk shopping development.
Coun Adrian Lowe, who is responsible for Chorley’s Digital Strategy, said: “Getting Wi-Fi in Chorley would be a very exciting step which would enhance the town’s ability to cater to the needs of the modern public.
“The majority of people now use the internet on their phones or tablets to access social media, instant messages, emails, and there’s the added benefit of using things like Google maps.
“This would be a major bonus for Chorley town centre as visitors could connect to the Wi-Fi and continue to use their phones to their benefit, whether that is sending a work email or using directions to find their way around the centre if they are a visitor.”
Council data states that four out of five adults now own a smartphone, with the Wi-Fi access being one way for consumers to be more “digitally engaged” on the high street.
The council are currently looking to secure funding for the project and hopes to have the first stage of Wi-Fi installed by Christmas this year covering the existing Market Walk and Covered Markets, providing public Wi-Fi from the bus and train interchanges to popular town centre destinations.
It will also include Astley Park when it is fully rolled out.
Coun Lowe added: “If we aren’t successful with the funding we will still go ahead and install the Wi-Fi in the town centre – which the council will pay for.
"As development has been progressing in the town centre we have been pro-active and have installed some network points across the centre to prepare for the Wi-Fi.”
A further update on the council’s plans and funding will be shared publicly once there is more information.