Runner Up in Prestigious National Award

A gathering of project teams from across the UK, including Wakefield based, celebrated the results of the O2 NextGen 2016 Digital Challenge at a prestigious dinner event hosted by The Earl of Erroll at the House of Lords in London.

This year, having previously been shortlisted in 2015, were voted runner up in the new “Economic Development” category for their project to deliver what will probably be Europe’s largest ever free Wireless Broadband service and Digital Inclusion program across the Wakefield District with their partner Wakefield District Housing (WDH).

The event was the culmination of a year-long 3-stage programme starting with an open call for nominations followed by a selection of shortlisted finalists and project submissions assessed by an independent judging panel.

When asked about what these awards mean to, Peter Reed-Forrester, founder and Managing Director said: “Any award that recognises the work CommunityUK does is tremendously important to us but the fact that this one recognises the importance of Digital Skills and the emerging Digital Economy as a core part of the economic development and regeneration of Wakefield District is particularly so.  The fact that it puts “Digital Wakefield” and its’ fast developing digital community firmly on the map can only be good for the district as a whole.

“However, I must also say that none of this would have been possible without the support of WDH.  Their recognition of the need to work with and support the development of smaller, innovative companies like CommunityUK, coupled with their commitment to providing their tenants with the means to properly engage in the digital world, has been the bedrock this project has been built on and we look forward to it continuing as we see it through to its inevitably successful conclusion over the next few years.”

Every year the Awards categories change to reflect the latest trends in project nominations.  In 2016 new awards categories emerged for Digital Healthcare and Economic Development.   Support by O2 also enabled the creation of the new Digital Champions Award.

Lord Erroll, a confirmed “Techie” and Chair of the Digital Alliance observed that, “Imagination and innovation in applied digital technologies is often the result of a collaboration between two or more specialist fields.  Time and again this inter-disciplinary process is demonstrated in the case studies that come before the judging panel – new ways of applying digital expertise and insight in unexpected corners of the economy and communities.

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