PENDLE is set to become the first borough in Lancashire to install free WiFi in its town centres.

Council bosses said the move would further secure the future of its high streets and would benefit shopkeepers, shoppers and on-the-move workers.

WiFi will be introduced in Barnoldswick, and then Colne, as two pilot areas, before hopefully being rolled out to other towns such as Nelson, Barrowford and Earby.

Coun Paul White, portfolio holder for growth and town centres, said: “This will be fantastic for supporting our high streets.

“We won’t just be building something that gives people free internet access across our towns, but it will also give businesses the chance to bring in the customers too through its landing page.

“When somebody logs on they will go to a landing page which will display things like offers of the week for different shops.

“It will help people shopping in town search for things they are after and is also good for people working on-the-move, which a lot of people do these days.

“It was something council leader Joe Cooney was very keen on.”

Earlier this week Kendal announced plans to become the first town in the north, and only the fourth in England, to offer free town centre WiFi. Pendle Council’s executive committee has set aside £100,000 to look into the scheme.

It will require installation of WiFi antennas in certain areas to provide the signal.

Coun White said: “In an ideal world we would have it up-and-running for Christmas.

“We have chosen Barnoldswick and Colne to pilot it because they are our best performing town centres, and because Barnoldswick town centre is in a square formation, and Colne is linear.”

Coun Joe Cooney said: “This was something Lyle Davy, one of our new councillors asked us to look at, and we looked and thought what a great idea.”