Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, yesterday (Monday) announced funding to provide free WiFi for Ballycastle.
The funding of £12,287 from the Department for Social Development is being matched by Moyle District Council and will provide free WiFi for locals and tourists alike in Ballycastle’s Diamond and seafront areas.
Minister Storey said: “As the tourist season approaches, Ballycastle will benefit greatly from this initiative which will allow free internet access for both local people and for the many hundreds of tourists who visit this part of Northern Ireland.
“One of the major benefits of this scheme is that it will also enable the Council to collect valuable data which will be used for analysing customer trends and forecasting future retailing and leisure trends.”
The Department for Social Development has already assisted a significant number of towns with funding towards the installation of hardware which allows for the provision of free WiFi services.
The Minister added: “Digital technology, which is now commonplace in society, will also provide traders with an excellent platform to market their business, increase competiveness and their capacity to trade.”
Cllr. Donal Cunningham, Chairman of Moyle District Council said: “Moyle District Council is delighted to learn that the Department for Social Development can offer this financial support to allow us to progress the development of open air WiFi in The Diamond and seafront areas of Ballycastle Town.
“This will be a great attraction for both locals and, especially, visitors who spend their time enjoying the beautiful recreational spaces available to them here.
“The initiative has come about as a result of the expressed wish of Councillors who recognise the benefits this service would offer to boost tourism and trade in the town and to generally enhance the visitor experience.
“There has been a marked increase in local and international visitors to Ballycastle over recent years and we want this to continue and to grow in a way that we can compete with other tourist destinations.
“This WiFi service will be a valuable attraction for those considering a visit or a holiday in the area.”