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Three south Armagh community venues among seven earmarked for free wi-fi

Plans for free wi-fi at a number of community venues in south Armagh and beyond have taken a step forward this week.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has been considering the options specifically in relation to seven centres.

The active and healthy communities committee were asked on Monday to press ahead with a proposal, which would cost in the region of £70,000 to introduce.

The money has already been earmarked in council budget.

The venues which would benefit are Bessbrook Community Centre, Crossmaglen Community Centre, Cloughreagh Community Centre, Dan Rice Hall, Market House Centre, Ballynahinch Centre and the Bridge Centre at Killyleagh.

The recommendation came forward during the course of a ‘community centre effectiveness review’ carried out by council officials, and approved.

On Monday, the committee agreed to give the go-ahead for those officials to complete a business case for the provision at each of the seven centres, and to start working with the IT department to procure, appoint and implement the wi-fi project.

Discussions between departments have already taken place with regards to the installation of communications cabinets at each of the centres to facilitate the Wider Area Network (WAN) connection.

A report to committee points out that all users of – and guests to – the centres would benefit.

It says wi-fi can “effectively empower communities and encourage the development of more effective local services, provide free access to a wide range of public services and assist in personal development”.

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