Manchester says ‘hi’ to free wi-fi as 250 buildings in city become free hotspots

More than 250 buildings in Manchester are to become free Wi-Fi hotspots as part of a £150million government scheme to boost the digital capacities of UK cities.

Manchester Town Hall, Salford City Stadium and concert venue Bridgewater Hall are amongst the landmarks which are to broadcast this free service.

These will join libraries, sports centres and community centres across Manchester and Salford.

Chair of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Mike Blackburn said: “This is more positive news for Greater Manchester’s digital infrastructure which currently offers the second largest Wi-Fi network in the UK

“[This scheme] offers an attractive prospect for commuters, business tourists coming into Manchester for conferences and short stays, and those who are looking to invest in the region.”

The scheme will see a total over 1,000 buildings across 16 cities in the UK eligible for the upgrade, including London, Oxford, Birmingham and Leeds/Bradford.

The scheme is designed to make the UK cities more attractive places to live, and do business in. It is thought that millions of people will take advantage of the boost to free connectivity.

This programme follows the 2012 launch of Manchester FreeBee – which gives residents up to half an hour of free Wi-Fi a day, broadcast from over 80 hotspots.

Matthew Kershaw, digital policy lead at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, added: “Manchester is a hotbed of digital talent and activity.

“Increasing connectivity in our city and town centres is a step towards extending this vital tool to all areas of economic activity.”

Image courtesy of Richard Heyes,, with thanks. 

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