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Castle enters digital world

Superfast: Carwyn Jones at Cardigan Castle’s official opening
Superfast: Carwyn Jones at Cardigan Castle’s official opening

SUPERFAST CYMRU is connecting Cardigan Castle with the world and enhancing the visitor experience, First Minister Carwyn Jones has said. The First Minister was officially re-opening the iconic castle following a major refurbishment and heard how having access to fibre broadband is making a big difference.

Thanks to the scheme, the castle can now provide high speed wi-fi facilities on site for visitors, while enabling its staff to work more efficiently.

Thedeploymentoffibrebroadband by engineers from BT’s local network business Openreach continues to progress at pace with 130 premises on average getting access to superfast broadband every hour across Wales. In total, more than 437,000 Welsh premises – and more than 13,000 in Ceredigion, now have access to the technology as a result of the project.

Superfast Cymru, a partnership between the Welsh Government, BT, UK Government and the European Regional Development Fund is the largest of its kind in the UK.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “Superfast Cymru is bringing a 900-year-old castle into the digital world, allowing it to reach out to all corners of the planet faster and more effectively. Since the opening in April, there have been around 3,000 visitors, with the figures continuing to rise, and having access to fast fibre broadband is helping enhance their experience. The Welsh Government is committed to seeing Wales become a truly digital nation and I’m pleased Cardigan Castle is benefiting from the Superfast Cymru programme.”

Jann Tucker, Chair of the Cadwgan Building Preservation Trust (CBPT) which led the campaign to save the Castle, added: “During our first year of trading, we’re aiming to attract more than 30,000 visitors to the site, and to establish Cardigan Castle as one of west Wales’ leading tourist attractions. In a digital age, it’s vital that visitors and overnight guests are able to access high-speed wi-fi, whether it’s to browse the web over a coffee at our on-site restaurant 1176, or to share pictures of their visit on social media, the development will certainly enhance the overall visitor experience.”

Ann Beynon, BT Director for Wales, said: “Ensuring visitors to Cardigan Castle have as enjoyable an experience as possible is crucial to its future success. Tourists have high expectations and despite being a 900-year-old castle people will still want to be able to use their smartphones. The superfast broadband network that our engineers are building in Ceredigion – and across Wales – will enable Cardigan Castle to provide wi-fi access to tourists that visit this much loved attraction. Superfast Cymru is also playing its part in getting ‘poetry in motion’. With this new technology our modern day poets can now compose and send their poems globally from the grounds of Cardigan Castle – the birthplace of the Eisteddfod – and all in the blink of an eye.”

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Dayne Stone

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