Community to go online as 12m grant is won


A multi-million pound grant is putting councils, community groups and health services in Cambridgeshire onto the world wide web.

The 12 million handout from central Government has been awarded to the to harness the latest computer technology. The funding - won after a bid supported by Cambridge Network - will be used to create the Cambridgeshire Community Network and will link all aspects of public services.

It means that every school, library, council office and local community will be connected by fast online access.

John Little, head of IT at the council, said: 'By combining our existing resources with this successful bid we can achieve a big leap forward in the capacity and availability of our electronic services, and our ability to communicate with other agencies and partners. There will be a quantum leap in the amount of online public access for the citizen.'

In a letter to Professor Sir Alec Broers, chairman of Cambridge Network, Mike Parsons, the council's Director of Resources, said:' I am sure that the support and reputation of the Cambridge Network have helped us to secure this funding.

'We look forward to playing our part in delivering the 'Cambridge 2020 Vision' and making a contribution to an environment in which citizens of Cambridgeshire and the region can benefit from 21st Century services.'

The search is now underway for a private sector partner to provide the service. It should be in place by 2005.