Supplementary memorandum by the Office
of the E-Envoy
UK ONLINE CENTRES
We are investing £252 million to establish
UK online centres in our most disadvantaged communities in England,
including the 2000 most deprived local authority wards taken from
the DETR index of deprivation, rural areas with significant transport
or deprivation problems and pockets of deprivation within more
prosperous areas. These centres will be based wherever best suits
the needs of local people and will meet the needs of those with
low, or no ICT skills and who do not have the opportunity to use
ICT facilities in their home or place of work.
The centres will cater for many different types
of people but we are specifically targeting a number of client
People who need help with basic skills.
People from Ethnic Minorities.
People over 60 and not involved in
People with disabilities.
Although we are very clear about the people
UK online centres should reach, we recognise the need to be flexible
about the way this is achieved. Consequently the centres will
vary in size and shape from small PC-based facilities in a village
hall, community centres and mobile centres, to major ICT facility
in colleges, training organisations or shopping centres.
These UK online centres will be conveniently
located where people live and work, or in leisure facilities such
as libraries, pubs and sports centres. They will offer a safe
and supportive place that will give people the confidence to explore
ICT and the Internet. The centres will have flexible opening hours
that match community needs including evenings and weekends, and
take account of the particular needs of those with caring responsibilities.
The UK online centres will be designed specifically
to meet the needs of the local people they are trying to attract.
We recognise that in order to encourage people to use the centres
we must provide facilities which meet their specific local needs.
Examples of innovative ways of attracting people into centres
include a centre within a public house, a centre in a professional
Football Club, a mobile centre which is part of a funfair travelling
around Birmingham, centres offering music and media facilities,
digital photography and centres offering healthcare packages.
It is hoped that by offering the non-traditional learning in a
convenient location people will be more likely to visit centres
and benefit from what ICT and the Internet can offer.
As not all disadvantaged areas are the same,
differences in social, employment and cultural traditions will
need to be reflected in the design and style of the UK online
centre and in how they are owned and managed. The aim is to give
more people greater opportunities to engage in society and to
improve their prosperity and the quality of their lives.