A £3MILLION investment has been approved to provide digital technology to communities and businesses across North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire County Council will implement three projects to enhance connectivity, particularly in rural areas, following the award of funding from the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

These include providing public wi-fi in up to 16 market towns, introducing “smart places” technology into rural areas, and providing ultrafast fibre broadband to six business parks.

While the Covid pandemic and internet shopping have had a dramatic effect on the high street, installing public wi-fi is an opportunity to investigate how this technology could be used to promote local shops and services and create a different town centre experience.

The extension of North Yorkshire’s local full fibre network programme, delivered by the County Council’s wholly-owned delivery partner NYnet Ltd, will see the technology deployed to six business parks across the county.

This is set to benefit up to 500 businesses.

The parks earmarked to receive the technology are likely to be in the districts of Ryedale, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Scarborough.

The council would welcome an approach from any business park manager or owner interested in this opportunity.

Finally, the creation of rural “smart places” – also known as the internet of things – will start to bring digital benefits more usually seen in cities, enabling businesses to make use of sensors and data to create new markets and products.