The Broadband 4 the Rural North (B4RN) share launch was an exceptional success with standing room only in the Storey, Lancaster on 15th December 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUFkJJkeYHk
The event was sponsored by the Storey and AONB (Area Of Natural Beauty)
This community owned broadband project has captured the imagination of many around the country and the world, much to the surprise of local residents.
B4RN is seeking £2 million funding from investors, with a guarantee that skills and jobs will be created within the Trough of Bowland and Lune Valley communities, and that the majority of the revenue will be spent locally.
The B4RN Management Team is currently made up of local volunteers who live within the target area and who know the geography, people and culture. The team’s experience and skill-set range from technology to legal, community engagement to financial experts and exhibits all the qualities of a typical rural community.
Professor Barry Forde, CEO of B4RN presented the project and share offer to a packed house, with attendees from the local community, professional organisations, journalists and industry pundits from around the UK. The presentation was followed by a Q&A session and post-networking event which included a wide range of informed questions and highlighted the level of knowledge and experience within the B4RN team.
There was an opportunity for attendees to view the proposed route maps and discuss them in detail with logistics planner Tom Hartley. Other members of the B4RN team were present to help answer questions and discuss the project.
The B4RN project continues to gather both national and international support from the farming community, local businesses, MP’s, the Duke of Westminster, Neelie Kroes VP European Commission, Kansas GoogleCity community group, and local residents.
The mayor of Lancaster Mr Paul Woodruff cut a celebratory cake and the share issue was launched, with the first cheque being presented by Mr Walter Willcox from Surrey.
There are many videos and photos from the event on the press page press coverage and the full audio stream of the presentation is here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6442532/b4rn1.mp3
Thank you to all who helped make it happen.
B4RN held a successful series of parish parties and public meetings during September.
These events were intended to introduce the project to the community and answer any and all questions to help decision making. Over 315 people attended in total, and the level of enthusiasm and sign ups which have followed indicates that the events were a success.
As the project proceeds into future phases, there will be further meetings to address issues and concerns, report on progress, as well as to engage with those who have offered the necessary skills for success.
B4RN is this community's project and the involvement of the community is essential. Very little will happen behind closed doors. If you are able to host small meetings as we progress (e.g. 4-8 people) or larger groups for public meetings in your parish, please do let us know.
Wennington 1st September Wennington School, 7.00pm
Arkholme 5th September Arkholme Village Hall 6.30pm
Over Wyresdale 7th September Abbeystead Village Hall 7.30pm
Quernmore 8th September Quernmore Methodist Hall 7.30pm
Littledale 8th September (combined with Quernmore)
Tatham 12th September Lowgill School 7pm
Young Farmers 19th September Wray Institute 7.30pm
Melling 20th September (Parish Broadband) Institute 8pm
Wray 27th September Wray Institute 7pm with live Google Earth demo of the network map