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Friday, 5 August 2016

Net gains as broadband investment continues for county

North Yorkshire County Council has announced it will fund £20 million for phase three of its Superfast North Yorkshire programme.

Just over £12 million will come from the authority’s own funds, £7.3 million from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK  and £1 million from the European regional development funding.

Council chiefs say high quality broadband with a minimum speed of 25Mbps will have been brought to 91 per cent of premises across the county by next June in phases one and two of the project, which has cost £34.5 million.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

This will keep Dales industrial history lovers appy

History buffs wanting to learn more about lead mining in the Dales can turn to technology to help.

The Yorkshire Dales national park has launched a new, free phone app that includes walking routes around sites of old mines and masses of information and photos about the industry and the impact it had on the landscape and communities within the area.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Net gains will follow broadband boost

North Yorkshire County Council has drawn up a £21 million funding package for its Superfast North Yorkshire programme.

Up to £13 million will come from the authority’s own funds and £8 million will come from national and European governments.

The council aims to bring high speed, high quality broadband connections to 95 per cent of premises across the county. More than £34 million has already been invested in connectivity so far.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for broadband, said: “This is an enviable record which makes North Yorkshire the leading authority in the country for the reach of its high speed broadband programme.”

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Net gains for West Witton after broadband pilot announced

Hundreds more people in Wensleydale are set to have access to superfast broadband after the Yorkshire Dales national park authority approved the siting of four masts in West Witton.

The decision by the authority’s planning committee means that about 155 homes and businesses in and around the village will be able to go online.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

County thanks radio team that tuned Tour de France to safety success

Part of the success of the North Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France can be attributed to small teams playing their part as the sporting spectacle raced through our breathtaking landscape, quaint towns and villages.

Among them was the voluntary radio communications team Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network known in short as Raynet – which ensured the cycling event ran safely and smoothly through the Yorkshire Dales and has now been thanked with thousands of pounds worth of equipment.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Superfast broadband brings net gains with county leading the way

North Yorkshire is leading the way as superfast broadband reaches a million more homes and businesses nationally, according to government and technical sources.

The news came as culture secretary Sajid Javidon the £1.7 billion nationwide rollout was firmly on track to extend superfast broadband to 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses by 2017. The rate at which the fibre technology is being rolled out under the programme is rapidly accelerating, with 30,000 to 40,000 premises gaining access every week.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Free wifi for visitors and shoppers will bring net gains for Thirsk

Cllr Robson is pictured with Jill Miller,
of the district business association, and
Andrew Netwon in Thirsk Market Place..
Visitors to the centre of Thirsk can now take advantage of free wifi.

It's been made possible, thanks a joint project by Andrew Newton from locally-based Telecom Yorkshire, the town's tourist information centre, the district business association and the council.

Hambleton Council leader Councillor Mark Robson pledged to get all of the district's towns wifi enabled. He added: "Having wifi complementing the offer of our attractive towns and quality independent retail offer can only help the high streets’ fortunes."

Friday, 28 March 2014

Broadband brings net gains for county

The prospect of every home and business in North Yorkshire enjoying access to high speed broadband has moved closer, according to county council chiefs after approving a further £3m funding.

The announcement matches the same amount offered by the government’s Broadband UK initiative, and a further £2m from European funding. Superfast North Yorkshire project contractor, BT, will add a further £2m.

“This is a massive step forward in our aim to establish high speed broadband accessibility for 100 per cent of North Yorkshire by the end of 2017,” said programme chairman county councillor Carl Les.

“With this extra funding, we will be able to penetrate to the more remote parts of our very rural county, to communities and businesses which hitherto had  little hope of reaping the advantages and rewards of high speed internet access.”

Programme bosses say they are on target to complete the initial phase, offering high quality broadband connections to almost 90 per cent of properties, by the end of October.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Ryedale hopes tourism website makeover will bring net gains

Council chiefs in Ryedale hope to boost tourism in the district, with the launch of a new optimised website to suit any device.

A re-brand of the website has been made to promote the district's five market towns more prominently and complement the offline activity geared towards accommodation, food and drink heritage and the outdoors.

Tourism bosses say the site's range of content reflects the breadth of attractions and activities the area has to offer including Castle Howard, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Ryedale’s variety of scenic rural villages and pubs.

Monday, 22 July 2013

York innovation keeps tourists 'appy

York ... harnessing breakthrough technology
to improve the visitor experience..
York has launched a revolutionary app that allows users to enjoy hologram performances by historic characters that pop up out of the fabric of the city’s ancient buildings.

The city council and the Yorkshire Air Museum have harnessed the breakthrough technology – developed in the city – to create the City of York Hologram Tour app, the world’s first city tour to use hologram guides.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Rosedale hits the highway for super speed broadband

Residents and businesses in the heart of the North York Moors are being offered the opportunity to sign up for high speed  broadband..

A high-speed wireless link set up at Blakey Ridge by the community broadband group Moorsweb Link is being extended to cover Rosedale, thanks to a £24,650 grant.

County councillor Carl Les, chairman of Superfast North Yorkshire, said “This move is making next generation high speed broadband available to people in one of the most remote valleys in North Yorkshire.

“As well as providing private households with internet speeds of an urban standard, the new link will be of immense benefit to businesses in this beautiful corner of our county.”

The new development is the result of partnership working between the county council and its broadband enterprise NYNet, Moorsweb Link, and Ryedale District Council.

Anyone interested in signing up for the faster service, can contact Barry Sunley on 01751 430323, or email

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Village makes the high speed connection

Residents in a Hambleton village are celebrating after becoming the first community to benefit from the county's multi-million pound superfast broadband project.

Superfast North Yorkshire has brought high-speed fibre service to Ainderby Steeple three months ahead of schedule.

The project is a partnership between the county council and BT. The initiative builds on the communications company's commercial roll-out of fibre broadband in the county so that 90 per cent of North Yorkshire's homes and businesses will have access by the end of 2014.

Ultra-fast broadband speeds of up to 330Mbps will be available on demand wherever fibre broadband has been deployed, if North Yorkshire businesses want to upgrade to even faster speeds.

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey was in Ainderby Steeple to celebrate the milestone.

He said: "This is a landmark moment for not only North Yorkshire, but for rural areas around UK, as the nationwide roll-out of superfast broadband begins.

"High-speed broadband connectivity will provide a major boost to local economies, helping create the right conditions for growth, and it's fitting that the first village to benefit from the government's £530m rural broadband scheme is located in the country's largest rural county."

The majority of premises in North Yorkshire will get access to some of the best broadband speeds in the country via the service.

The high-speed service will boost the competitiveness of local firms and offer new ways of flexible working, entertainment and opportunities for residents.

Fibre broadband gives users the ability to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time, such as sending and receiving large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently, accessing school homework networks, watching catch-up TV and learning at home via educational websites.

Further details and postcode checks are now available at

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Broadband rollout 'remains a priority'

The rollout of broadband to remote communities remains a priority for Yorkshire Dales National Park bosses

The statement comes after an update from NYnet, a commercial venture set up by the county council to provide businesses and residents with high-speed broadband. This will be achieved through government and European funding.

Earlier this year authority chairman Carl Lis said quality broadband by 2015 was one of the proposed objectives in the national park management plan.

After the update, he said: “It’s unbelievable that – despite all the technology available – remote rural areas haven’t got broadband simply because the low population and difficult terrain have meant that it’s not commercially viable for the companies to invest in the infrastructure. However, it’s very encouraging that the government is now putting money in to make it happen

“The authority is totally committed to helping to get broadband into the national park in the best way possible. There are already several excellent local community-led broadband initiatives under way within the national park.

"The authority has been actively involved in providing advice and support to schemes in Upper Wharfedale, Littondale, Garsdale and Dentdale.

“We will continue to offer this support and do everything we can to reach our objective as soon as possible.”

Monday, 19 November 2012

Church history lovers will be 'appy

A new mobile phone app will allow visitors to explore York's city centre churches in a new way.

he innovation will be launched in time for the St Nicholas Fayre.
Created by the University of York’s Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture, the app is designed to encourage visitors of all ages to explore the rich life and history of York’s places of worship.

The ecumenical project will link all the churches inside the city walls – and those just outside – within a map-based app.

The Revd Jane Nattrass, priest-in-charge of the York City Centre Churches, said: “We are pleased that so many churches have come together to make use of the app technology which can be used in church, on the move or in schools.

"York churches have many treasures which add to the life of the city. The apps will provide opportunities to explore the stories from history and contemporary Christianity.  Asking people to switch on their smart phones in church will be a first.”

The app will be previewed on Tuesday (20 November) by Louise Hampson from the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at All Saints Pavement to representatives from the churches involved and project funders.

She said: “Churches hold much of the nation’s history and spiritual and artistic heritage, so it is vital we find new ways to help people of all ages and backgrounds explore and enjoy these wonderful buildings and their stories.

“Each of the twenty-three churches in York is being provided with a 'landing page' — a snappy summary of what and who they are. In addition, GPS technology will enable the user to find some of York’s less well-known treasures by telling them when they are near to a building which may be slightly off the main streets. They can also mark on their map the sites they have visited.”

Over the next eighteen months, clicking on any of the nine churches involved in the first phase of the project will open a plug-in in the app which will tell that church's individual story in more depth and showcase the church's current life and work. For each church there will be a panoramic view of the interior with key features highlighted and explained.

The first three plug-ins, for All Saints Pavement, St. Olave's and the United Reformed Church, are already complete and will be available in time for the popular St Nicholas Fayre on 29 November. Over the next few months, more plug-ins will be added.  Once downloaded, the app will automatically update as new content becomes available.

Louise added: “We also have plans to add pages for churches no longer in use as places of worship, many of which have fascinating stories to tell. In addition, we are adding pages for 'lost' churches, such as St Maurice's and Christchurch King's Square, which have  disappeared but which have left tantalising traces in street names, gravestones or old photographs.”

The project has received funding from a local trust and practical support from York's City Centre Churches Care and Development Trust.

The York City Centre Churches app will be available to download for both Apple iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices from Tuesday 27 November. Search for York Churches  in Google play and the Apple Appstore.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Masham Gallery's ahead of the Q

The small but popular Masham Gallery is offering its visitors what is believed to be a technological first to help them find out more about the pictures and works of art for sale.

Owner Josie Beszant believes hers is the only small independent gallery using QR codes – the square boxes that have begun to appear on posters, adverts and packaging, looking a bit like a pixelated bar code. They can be scanned by any smart phone to take users to  a webpage to get extra information. They are free to use

Josie said: “Using our free wifi service, customers can use their smart phones to get all sorts of background information on the exhibition.

"Visitors can watch Youtube videos of our artists at work, read more about the film that inspired our current exhibition or find out about a specific artist, all while in the gallery, using their smart phone.

“The customer response has been fantastic, it’s no longer just a picture hanging on the wall – they can access a level of detail not easily available previously. It's really created quite a buzz.”

But the gallery is no stranger to innovation having set up a website as early as 1995 along with Masham based Black Sheep Brewery.

Josie added “So many people have smartphones now, and the QR code technology is becoming more widespread. Introducing this interactive element to our gallery allows customers to get more out of their visit with us.

"We also find the contrast between the hand made art and design in the gallery and the cutting edge technology of the QR codes very interesting.”

Monday, 13 August 2012

TV historian Julian's podcast points St Aelred's way

The route trodden by St Aelred from Helmsley to the Cistercian abbey at Rievaulx features in a new series of English Heritage podcasts for rural ramblers by TV historian Julian Humphrys.

The presenter's commentary for walkers points out items of historical interest along the way.

Julian said: "This is a wonderful walk. It's not too strenuous, so it is suitable for most ages, and it takes in some magnificent North Yorkshire countryside as you walk between the fortifications of Helmsley Castle and the majestic ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.

"This is a wonderful route even without any explanation, but if you know where to look, there are points along the route which help explain the area's heritage – from the partially hidden quarries from which the stone was taken to build Rievaulx Abbey to the remains of concrete bunkers from the Second World War." 

The route follows much of the Cleveland Way, and includes spectacular views down the Rievaulx valley and over the Duncombe estate.

Julian added: "If anything, these views are now better today than they would have been during Aelred's lifetime, as the wealth of the abbey attracted all kinds of industry,

"The quarries would not have had the vegetation masking the scars on the landscape that we see today, and as you get closer to Rievaulx Abbey itself, you can see signs of iron working – foundries that would have been belching out smoke.

"There is some irony that the serenity that attracted Aelred to Rievaulx would have been lost as under his leadership it became one of the wealthiest monasteries in the North."

The podcasts can be downloaded free of charge from the Rievaulx Abbey pages of the English Heritage website  Both Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Castle are open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The answer is blowing in the wind with online calculator

North Yorkshire householders considering wind power as a form of sustainable energy can now use a calculator tool to asess their wind energy potential.

Small scale turbine specialist SIAC Wind Energy has introduced the tool on its website

According to the company, Yorkshire is recognised as an area of the country with a significantly better wind harvest than many others. It believes that county residents choosing a small wind turbine installation are likely to receive a particularly pleasing indication of return on investment.

The calculator enables the user to determine their opportunities for a specified property by entering their postcode.

By choosing from a limited number of options, such as model specification information and expected energy consumption, the tool evaluates small wind opportunities available for the site, detailing estimated annual yield and annual revenue.

Managing director Patrick Dormon said: “While calculated results are not an absolute, they provide a good indication of projected wind energy potential.

"The wind calculator tool is simple and easy to use, giving an easy to understand breakdown of information that many users will find helpful. If an individual decides to have a small scale wind turbine installed on their property, further research needs to be undertaken to build a better picture of the energy potential available.

“The wind calculator aims to make people aware that embracing environmentally-friendly technology is a proven solution to meet energy needs, demonstrating the possibilities available in the micro wind generation sector.”

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Smartphone users will be appy with more Dales information

Smartphone owners can now download a wealth of information about more areas of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, thanks to its app.

An official app was launched last year covering Malham and Hawes. It allows iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Symbian users to discover what to see and do and to download a huge bundle of facts about the two areas and the national park in general.

An updated version now including information on Dent and Reeth is available for iPhone and Android phones – and it has already been downloaded more than 8,000 times.

Karen Griffiths, the national park authority’s interpretation officer, said: “We like to keep abreast of developments in smartphone technology so we can offer the most comprehensive service to our visitors.

“The app for Malham and Hawes has been really popular and thousands of people have downloaded it so far. It basically gives you a digital guidebook to the particular area as well as a whole range of information about things like its history and archaeology and its scenery and landscape.

“This update means visitors now have a huge database on walking and cycling routes, places to visit and things to see in four areas of the national park.

“Archaeology audio trails covering Dent and Lower Wensleydale have also gone live on our specialist website at, meaning that there is now one for each of the eight geographical areas of the National Park.

“The trails are also illustrated so you can see a photo of each stopping point on your smartphone as you walk along the individual routes.

“We have also installed a Bluetooth/wifi hub covering the area around the bus shelter in the main car park in Dent so people can download the new audio trail in written format to their phones.”

Information on where to go to download the app can be found on the authority’s website at or by scanning a QR code.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Treasure hunt system adds historic York to hidden history fun

The Minster end of York is among a list of new GPS treasure hunt areas.

Treasure hunt company has created a way for fun seekers of all ages to get out and explore the hidden history in UK cities, armed with their mobile phone.
The company has adapted its existing printed or downloadable treasure hunts into a new online GPS version.

Using a smart phone or touch screen tablet, the geo-location tracking device will show where users are and the location of hunt clues. The challenge is to navigate to all the clues, answering questions. The score page keeps track of how the user and any other teams are doing.

Stephen Whetstone, huntfun, founder, said: “Just like our normal hunts, our new GPS hunts help people explore an area, finding hidden history that they might normally walk right past.”

“However, unlike our printed or downloadable hunts which take a little bit of forward planning, our GPS hunts can be done on the spur of the moment, great for the unpredictable British weather.

“What’s more, you can now split your family or friends into groups, to have a competitive hunt. The online scorer lets you see how the other teams are doing, adding to the fun."

Stephen added that the company would be adapting the hunt for corporate groups and hen parties in the future to include optional team building activities to be completed en route.”

The company has more than 240 treasure hunts set up across the UK, France and Belgium. Alongside York,  GPS versions are available for parts of Brighton, Bristol, Canterbury, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Oxford. Versions are expected to be available in Leeds, Norwich, Birmingham, London West End, Aberdeen, Liverpool, Bath, Chester, Bournemouth and Cambridge.

Participants need to check whether their device is compatible by using the free mini GPS hunt on the huntfun website.  If it’s compatible, they simply order their selected hunt from the website and can get started immediately.

The GPS hunts cost £12 plus £6 for each additional team (up to four teams). An introductory special offer of 50 per cent off is available for a limited time using the code GPS123. 

Further information is available at to find out more.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Mapping service pinpoints key local information

Residents will be able to get local information in Hambleton and Richmondshire, thanks to a new online mapping service.

It will provide users with access to council information – as well being able to pinpoint car parks, GP surgeries, leisure centres, libraries, recycling points, industrial parks and other facilities and services.

The localview service is a first for users of the Richmondshire website and an upgrade to an existing mapping tool used on the Hambleton site.

“This new service gives our residents access to a huge amount of council information at the touch of a button,” said director of Hambleton district council Martyn Richards.

“Selecting an address will bring up a map showing the nearest council facilities and local amenities as well as direct links to the councillors responsible for that area.  It is an exciting new addition to our websites.”

To access the service, visit or and click the localview link.