Westmorland and Furness Council has welcomed an announcement that the area will benefit from funding for new 5G innovation schemes.
It was announced this week that The Borderlands has been named as one of 10 new ‘5G Innovation Regions’ to share in a £36 million fund from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
These innovation regions will lead on delivering the Government’s vision for communities across the UK to take full advantage of the transformative effect that advanced wireless connectivity and digital technologies can provide.
The successful 5G bid was submitted by the Borderlands Partnership, which comprises five local authorities in England and Scotland – Cumberland Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council, Scottish Borders Council and Westmorland and Furness Council.
The new technology will be integrated at five sites around the Borderlands region, including at Windermere Ferry, which is operated by Westmorland and Furness Council.
Other sites include Kielder Forest in Northumberland and a discovery centre at Hadrian’s Wall.
Making full use of the opportunity from the better functionality of 5G is seen as essential for the Partnership to fulfil its vision for a revitalised Borderlands.
This vision includes increasing job and business opportunities, and attracting more people to live, work and visit the region.
Councillor Dyan Jones, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Cabinet member for Customer and Waste Services, said: “We are delighted at the announcement that Borderlands has been named as one of the 10 new 5G Innovation Regions.
“This funding will enable a range of initiatives that support rural tourism to explore the transformative possibilities brought by advanced wireless connectivity and functionality.
“In Westmorland and Furness we will be looking at the opportunities to integrate the technology in a dedicated high-speed digital connection to support our Windermere Ferry operations, initially for improvements such as faster and more reliable ticketing and payment systems, providing faster service updates for ferry users and including information about local attractions.
“We will also be looking to use the ferry 5G technology to support environmental work on the lake, including water and air quality monitoring.
“We know that Westmorland and Furness has some world-class visitor destinations and this funding will help our communities, businesses and visitors unlock the advantages of cutting-edge advanced wireless technology and support our ambitions to improve connectivity, protect our environment and drive economic growth.’’