BARNOLDSWICK is set to become the first community in Lancashire to install free WiFi in its town centre.

Bosses at Pendle Concil said the move would further secure the future of its high streets and would benefit shopkeepers, shoppers and on-the-move workers.

WiFi will be introduced in Barnoldswick, and then Colne, as two pilot areas, before hopefully being rolled out to other Pendle towns such as Earby.

Cllr Paul White, portfolio holder for growth and town centres, said: “This will be fantastic for supporting our high streets.

“We won’t just be building something that gives people free internet access across our towns, but it will also give businesses the chance to bring in customers through its landing page.

“When somebody logs on they will go to a landing page which will display things like offers of the week for different shops.

“It will help people shopping in town search for things they are after and is also good for people working on-the-move, which a lot of people do these days."

Pendle Council’s executive committee has set aside £100,000 to look into the scheme.

It will require installation of WiFi antennas in certain areas to provide the signal.

Cllr White said: “In an ideal world we would have it up-and-running for Christmas.

“We have chosen Barnoldswick and Colne to pilot it because they are our best performing town centres, and because Barnoldswick town centre is in a square formation, and Colne is linear.”

“It’s worked really well in other places like Settle, and as far as we know we’ll be the first borough in Lancashire to do this. It’s just part of our new £800,000 package to support Growth in Pendle”.

Cllr Joe Cooney, the leader of Pendle Council, said: “This was something Lyle Davy, one of our new councillors asked us to look at, and we thought what a great idea.”