Internet hub plan for Gisburn

Nigel Evans MP and Stephanie Tuft, CEO of Age UK Lancashire, with committee members, from the left, David Waters, Chis Fish, Mary Williams and Joanne Mellin.

Nigel Evans MP and Stephanie Tuft, CEO of Age UK Lancashire, with committee members, from the left, David Waters, Chis Fish, Mary Williams and Joanne Mellin.

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Gisburn Festival Hall is encouraging local people to meet, eat and connect as it launches a new project to help villagers access mainstream services and online information.

The Management Committee aims to start up a drop-in centre where people can meet up for a chat, something to eat and drink and more importantly access information and services via the internet.

Committee secretary David Waters explained: “So much information is only available online these days and more and more services are being offered via the internet. A few weeks ago the Government announced that people, particularly pensioners, were in danger of being left behind if they didn’t have access to the internet.

“Most of us take the web, email and social media for granted but many people, for one reason or another, don’t have access to the internet. Through this project we will provide the means of access and also the help people need to get connected. We are pleased to be working with AgeUK Lancashire who are looking at ways of supporting the project.”

Wi-Fi internet has recently been installed at the village hall and some of the furniture is being upgraded. This has been paid for by local fund-raising events, but the committee is looking for additional funding in order to deliver the whole project.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans commended the Committee’s work, saying: “The internet drop-in centre will ensure that no-one in Gisburn need be wifi deficient. So much is done on the internet these days that this drop in centre will be very well used.

“This proves that rural does not have to mean deprived, and the Festival Hall will become a busy hub for locals to have access to all the services the internet offers backed up by expert advice to those who are new to the internet and how it works – this is a great service for the local community.”