Bournemouth has joined the Smart Place Pilot project to lead to a 5G connectivity revolution which should create jobs and boost the local economy.
Dorset LEP has allocated £1 million of the government’s Local Growth Fund to BCP Council, who have increased the total funding to £1.3 million, for the delivery of the project.
Based in the Lansdowne area, a 5G digital test bed will create an Internet of things to improve services, provide free public Wi-Fi and attract new investment, employment and innovation.
The project is expected to create around 200 new jobs at the project site and in the surrounding area in the first two years and 400 jobs by 2025. Dorset will benefit from a gross value added of £37.6 million by 2025 and it is anticipated that the project will add £137 million to the local economy over the next 10 years.
Dorset LEP has also allocated a further £380,000 of the Local Growth Fund to BCP Council to create a Dorset Smart Place Investment Plan. The strategy will be used to attract significant inward investment for Dorset of up to £1 billion in new digital connectivity and technologies.
Dorset LEP chairman, Jim Stewart, said, “We are incredibly excited about these two projects, which will put Bournemouth ahead of competitor towns and cities in the UK as a leader in digital communications.”
Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said, “We are delighted to be pushing forward with Smart Place Pilot and are excited to see the results of the Dorset Smart Place Investment Plan.
“This new age of connectivity is not just about faster mobile phone speeds through 5G. It will enable machines to connect to the Internet and share large amounts of data simultaneously, sparking new business innovations. It will also help us understand how 5G and other new technologies could help improve public services and quality of life for residents.”
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