WORK is to begin on a £15.1m scheme to improve North Yorkshire’s digital infrastructure.

The project will initially see 180km of new fibre laid to 370 public sector sites, including council offices, schools and health authorities’ buildings.

It will encompass 16 North Yorkshire town areas, including Northallerton, Thirsk and Richmond, to boost the existing digital infrastructure in the county.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie said: “The awarding of this contract is a further sign of our commitment to creating a strong digital infrastructure in the county.

“Better digital connectivity is a significant factor in creating and maintaining successful local economies and communities, nowhere more so than in North Yorkshire’s rural areas.

"High-quality digital communications enable us to ignore geographic distances and help to overcome rural remoteness and isolation.”

The project is the result of a successful council bid to the government Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.