Free wifi hopes for Hall Leys Park

FREE wifi internet could be made available at Hall Leys Park in a bid to attract more visitors and encourage them to stay longer.

Matlock Town Council recently discussed the idea of installing a large wireless router at the picturesque setting which they say could help draw more people in to use the park.

It would mean visitors could use laptop computers or internet phones to pick up free internet access.

The router was made available thanks to the work of the now-dissolved community group Matlock Partnership. They secured funding for the scheme two years ago through a £30,000 grant from Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership, but it was never fully implemented.

Catherine Rawas, who is in charge of the council’s community development, has been tasked to look into the costs of now setting up the park scheme.

She said: “Matlock Town Council is really committed to using Hall Leys Park and making sure it is the jewel in the crown of Matlock.

“We do a lot of work with Derbyshire Dales District Council and other groups to make the park as accessible and as a great a place to go as possible for the benefit of everyone.

“We are in a unique position of having the equipment to provide it.”

Cllr David Barker added his support saying: “I think we should look at the cost and see if we want to go ahead with it.

“It would encourage people to come in.”

In addition to equipment for the park, Matlock Partnership had also secured 30 smaller routers with the intention of giving them to local businesses around town to allow them to have their own wifi hotspots for customers.

However, only ten were taken up, and Catherine Rawas says the no decision has been made on who will take responsibility for the remaining 20.

Catherine: “There was some difficulty in getting business to take the routers, it’s difficult to say why some did not want to get involved.

“But if any business now has a burning desire to have wifi they can contact me at the council office.”