Newsletter click for pdf version
B4RN is, literally, a ground-breaking project, of interest to many across the country and beyond, as was shown by the packed audience at the launch at The Storey Institute, Lancaster last month,December 16th
To ensure that B4RN can begin in early 2012, we need as many people as possible/everyone to BUY SHARES and/or take a service from B4RN. The B4RN Management Team (all local people) are delighted with the response to the share issue and the Early Bird Leap Year offer since the launch in mid-December.
Congratulations to all those who have already bought shares; your Welcome Pack and Share Certificates are being prepared and will be with you shortly.
However, in order to reach our trigger target for shares and commence digging (i.e. laying fibre in the ground) as soon as possible, weather permitting, we would like to encourage everyone who can to take full advantage of the Early Bird offer which ends on 29th February. This gives you an extra 3 months free connection (on top of the normal 12 months) when you invest £1500, and of course the earlier you invest the sooner the 3 year minimum holding time finishes and you can apply to withdraw your investment.
Every £100 invested NOW will help this project to proceed more quickly to the benefit of all in this rural area. Please see below for more details on how to invest.
The next stage of the project is to map the route of the fibre cables, this involves checking with local residents and farmers to make sure we have permission to cross their land, and to confirm whether the route we have indicated on the maps is the best one.
The proposed routes for the first phase of the network covering Over Wyresdale, Quernmore, Tatham, Littledale, Roeburndale, Wray, Wennington, Melling, Wrayton and Arkholme are online. We have also starting mapping some of the phase 2 areas and Gressingham, Tunstall, Newton, Whittington, Ireby, Cantsfield, Leck, and Burrow are also online. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name(s) of the Parish maps and your full contact details for a link to the relevant route maps. We are now recruiting people in each area to help with this stage of the project. If you are interested in helping with this exciting phase, we are holding two workshops in January to discuss what is required. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Wray Institute 24th January, 7.30pm
Quernmore Methodist Hall 26th January, 7.30pm
Local knowledge is vital in choosing the best routes for the ducting. The best place to dig will be known by the person who owns or farms the land. We also need to know where all the utilities are on each of the properties. Mapping is a key part of the project and so the more volunteers we have for this phase the more speedily the information can be confirmed, and the sooner work can commence.
How to invest in B4RN
Please read the documentation on the website to make your own informed choice with advice from family members, friends and a financial adviser. If you have already decided to purchase shares, the form can be found here, download it, fill it in and sign it and post to the address on it with a cheque, or you can also pay for your shares by BACS or online banking. Email us for a reference number to use.
Once enough funds have been raised from share purchases then the necessary materials can be bought to allow the cable laying phase to start. The sooner we all buy shares the sooner we start.
The website we put online at the start of the project on the free Google Sites is now having an update, kindly designed and provided by our sponsors Carrera IT. The website address will remain www.B4RN.org.uk
Please be patient while we do this, if you can’t find any information you need please email us and we will respond.
and the Question and Answer session which followed.
The management team page has been updated with contact details of each member. Please contact one of the team if you have any questions or if you would like to join the team and help with the next stage.
The B4RN project continues to gather both national and international support from the farming community, local, national and international businesses and organisations, Parish Councils, MPs, the Duke of Westminster, Neelie Kroes VP European Commission, Kansas Google GigabitCity community group, and local residents. Videos, emails and Audioboos now on the website -please click and enjoy the acclaim this area of Lancashire is receiving!
Thank you again for all your support and offers of help. With your investment and assistance, B4RN can lead the way, globally. Only once we reach the target for the first stage (the core network), will we begin to purchase the required equipment, so please continue to help us reach this day as soon as possible by promoting B4RN and encouraging potential investors to find out about the project. The core will take roughly 3 months to complete and provide the first 460 connections, so leap in now and take advantage of the Early Bird offer for the extra bonus for your property once you are due for connection (or nominate a property to do so if you live elsewhere or overseas).
The FAQ section of the website has been populated with many of the questions received on the registration forms and by email. If your question has not been answered there please email us and we will answer. The last few months have been pretty hectic but we are now getting organised and we are sure that the new website will make it all clearer and easier to find information.
Press release after launch:
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 Forest of Bowland 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 whenever possible revenue generated from the B4RN service 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 team leader Tom Hartley. Other members of the B4RN team were present to help answer questions and discuss the project.
Photo of map table, maned by Tommy, who is explaining the routes to local farmers and parish councillors, and also visiting councillors from Speldhurst in the deepest south...
The B4RN project continues to gather both national and international
support from the farming community, local businesses, Parish Council’s, MP’s, the Duke of Westminster, Neelie Kroes VP European Commission, Kansas Google GigabitCity 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.
The full audio stream of the presentation is here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6442532/b4rn1.mp3
Anyone interested in shares is welcome to read the share offer document and make an informed choice, all the details are in it, and the form to purchase shares is also downloadable from this link: http://tinyurl.com/6ff6mn4
December 1st 2011
We passed the target! B4RN has a green light to proceed. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support. Now is this community's chance to prove what can be done to provide Gigabit FTTH (hyperfast Internet) to even the most rural and remote communities.
The invites have gone out to the launch event on December 15th at The Storey, Lancaster at 2pm. The spaces are already filling up, fast, so if you have not had an invite or know someone who has been left out, please get in touch ASAP. Space is limited.
The Management Committee has moved into overdrive to take the project forwards, and we hope to see you at the Launch event when much more information will be provided to potential investors, homes, business and public sector premises in the B4RN footprint.
All details of the shares offer will be online from 15th December. The project now needs everyone to complete the share application forms and/or registration for subscriptions so we can begin the build from early 2012 with the community investment.
It is not all about buying shares. If you have not already done so, you can just sign up for a subscription too if you live in our project area. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. (Should we make a short video that explains all the options? Let us know).
In the meantime, the latest Press Release from December 1st can be found below in Attachments.
Messages of support from around the world are coming in now (see the new Supporters' Page) and we are quite simply delighted at the local, national and international response to B4RN. The blogosphere is now posting too about this patch of Lancashire.....
The team met at the end of October and decided to proceed with the share issue, this will be announced shortly once it has cleared through the HMRC checks and processes. The latest newsletter has been emailed to registrants and copies can be found at the bottom of this page.
October 10th 2011
download the full version of the latest newsletter from the link at the bottom of the page The B4RN management team met last Friday night in Wray to discuss how the project has progressed
● How many interested parties have now registered for the scheme
● The next stage of the business plan
Registration is progressing well and the additional efforts of the various “village champions” were now achieving good results. Current registrations are 443 against our target of 662 (see beanstalk on www.b4rn.org.uk for updates)
B4RN is not like a Leap Year, occurring every four years. It is an opportunity which will only come once in 50, 60 or even 100 years.
Just once in our lifetime.
B4RN will provide a gold-medal, Olympic standard service to our community, the residents of our parishes, our children and grandchildren, with YOUR HELP.