Highlands & Islands

Lord Dunlop to see demo of Inverness city centre wifi pilot

Wifi on a smartphone Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The pilot project aims to increase availability of free wifi access in Inverness city centre

Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop is to be given a demonstration of a project designed to improve free wifi access in Inverness city centre.

The Ness City Wifi Pilot was due to be switched on by Lord Dunlop on Friday, according to information released earlier this week.

But the Scotland Office and Highland Council have now said the wifi is not going to be available until next week.

The pilot has received funding from the £315m Inverness City Region Deal.

The deal, announced in March by Highland Council and the Scottish and UK governments, involves direct funding and borrowing.

While in the city, Lord Dunlop will also be given an update on work to turn Inverness Castle into a tourist attraction and will have a meeting with Highlands and Islands Enterprise chiefs.

Ahead of his visit, the minister said digital connectivity was "vital for businesses to thrive, and has transformed the way we live our lives".

However, there has been criticism that the city region deal will not do enough for the wider Highlands area.

In October, Lochaber councillor Andrew Baxter said the funding package was "clearly a city deal that will predominantly benefit Inverness and the immediate area".

Highland Council said the wider region would see benefits.

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