‘Wifi will be a real boost for our town’

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A free Wifi network could be up and running in Morley town centre within a matter of weeks.

The new system aims to boost the local economy, by providing a platform to promote local shops, restaurants and businesses and publicise events and festivals. Morley Town Council hope the network will boost trade and bring in tourists.

Town councillor Coun Robert Finnigan said: “The Wifi will be there to promote business and community cohesion and celebrate what is happening in the town centre.

“We hope it will help to bring footfall into the town centre and improve the local and business economy, helping Morley’s high street to thrive and survive.

“We hope to have it up and running within weeks.”

The main Wifi equipment will be placed on top of Morley Town Hall, but shops and businesses will have booster signals.

People will be able to connect to the new system along the entire stretch of Queen Street, as well as some neighbouring roads. It could eventually pave the way for a new on-the-go click and collect service, meaning shoppers could pick up all their goods under one roof.

Morley Town Centre manager Rachael Kennedy said: “Not only will this give people access to Wifi when they enter the town centre, in the long term, we hope to set up a public dashboard in the town with offers and deals relating to local businesses.

“One of the things I hear over and over again is that businesses are struggling and don’t have the budget for marketing.

“Through this Wifi scheme, we want to create a digital marketplace to promote them, help them and showcase what is on offer in Morley.”

Coun Finnigan said the Wifi would be switched on throughout the day and early evening.

He said: “One of the concerns we had about possibly running it for 24 hours was that it might attract people to congregate outside businesses around Queen Street late at night.”

The council plans to turn it off for the late evening and during the night to “prevent inappropriate behaviour” and “make it as safe as possible” for both adults and young people who use it.