Leeds shoppers to get online through free centre wifi

Have your say

A free wifi internet pilot could bring Morley town centre “into the 21st Century” when it launches later this year.

The south Leeds town is thought to be among the first of its size to enjoy the tech boost, which is free to local businesses to provide for the first year, and will be provided by O2 Telefonica that has a base at Churwell’s White Rose Office Park.

The pilot is hoped to bring digital services to life in the town through free mobile internet to businesses, shoppers, residents and visitors on the high street that access wifi through smartphones and tablets.

A whole host of independent businesses including traders at Morley Market have signed up so far. High-end gift retailer Cadeaux, in Queen Street, was among the first to get involved.

Sam Aspinall, Cadeaux’s managing director, said: “Morley has a town centre on the up. It’s moving with the times and that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Morley Market manager Dave Wilson added: “It will certainly take us into the 21st Century. Hopefully it will create a slightly different economy and attract a younger, more tech-savvy customer to the town.”

Once launched, visitors to Morley will need to register before being able to access the internet, check emails and keep in touch free each time they visit.

Morley Chamber of Commerce and Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls led the campaign to have free wifi brought to the town centre. He said: “This is fantastic news. We know that Morley is already a great place to shop but free wifi will be a great boost for the town centre and will support our efforts to bring more shoppers into our town to support local businesses.”

Head of wifi for O2 Adrian Cunliffe said: “Wifi services are crucial to the development of a vibrant high street.”

Town centre firms are being encouraged to sign up. After the 12 month pilot firms can pay £24.99 monthly or cancel their lines.

Email morleyevents@live.co.uk to register.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Click here to register and have your say on the stories and issues that matter to you

PIC: Simon Hulme

£12m Leeds Grand Theatre regeneration plan includes a little extra help from the taxpayer