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Bristol in Top Ten Digital Cities in UK

Bristol Named Region’s Leading Digital City… And One of UK’s Top Ten

Bristol has today been named the South West’s top digital city after being named amongst the ten national finalists in the government’s Digital Challenge.

DCLG Minister Angela Smith MP announced the winners and finalists at a ceremony broadcast live on the web on Wednesday, July 12th 2006.

A successful and wide-ranging partnership of Bristol businesses, community groups and city council representatives called ‘Connecting Bristol’ has worked together to bid for the final £7 million prize. Winning the regional stage will mean a prize of £120,000 enabling the partnership to continue to the final stage of the challenge.

The Digital Challenge seeks bids which develop digital access to services, break down barriers to the use of IT and widen the use of IT among all groups of the community.

Bristol City Council leader, Cllr. Barbara Janke, says: “We are delighted that our bid has been recognised as the best vision for the region.

“The £120,000 prize will enable us to develop our bid further; to look at new ways of using new and existing technologies and connections to improve services and opportunities for our local communities, particularly the most disadvantaged.

“We want to bridge the digital divide in the region and ensure that we improve the use of IT by people with limited access. We also want to improve the take-up of online services by people with little IT knowledge.”

Bristol is already one of the top European locations for wi-fi networking, digital technology research and development and the creative industries, as well as online service delivery, public consultation and democratic engagement.

In addition, the city has been awarded Science City status by the government and has also been named European City of eDemocracy.

For more information on Bristol’s bid see the Connecting Bristol website. For more recent news and updates on the Digital Challenge bid, visit Steve Hilton’s weblog.