A JOINT project between Northallerton Retail & Business forum with its local councils has seen free wifi brought to the market town’s High Street.

Northallerton Town Council and Hambleton District Council have teamed up with the business group to launch Northallerton i-Street.

Coun Peter Wilkinson, Hambleton’s deputy leader, said: “We are aiming to get all of our market towns wi-fi enabled. Shoppers and visitors increasingly want to connect to the internet and some surveys show that this can affect people’s choice of shopping destination.

“Having wi-fi complementing the offer of our attractive towns and quality independent retail offer can only help the high streets’ fortunes.”

Hambleton District Council provided £1,000 to install the equipment required for the network with partners sharing the running costs and the town council providing a phone line from the town hall.

Charles Barker, chairman of Northallerton Retail & Business Forum and managing director of Barkers Ltd, said: “Town centre businesses are really excited by this idea and we have had a great deal of support for it from a wide range of our members.

“It’s great to be able to mix new technology with our attractive market place. We are hoping it will be a real draw for today’s connected consumers, adding to the great mix of shopping on offer in and around our town.”