BUSINESSES are being invited to free seminars to learn how to take advantage of Lancashire’s new superfast multi-million-pound network.

Free seminars are being held to help companies find out more about fibre broadband to develop, grow or improve the effectiveness of their business.

A team of business advisers has been appointed to offer a programme of free support services, including face-to-face support, training workshops, and skills master classes.

The specialist team is part of a new Business Support programme funded by Superfast Lancashire, a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BT to make high-speed broadband available to 97 per cent of Lancashire homes and businesses by the end of 2015.

Mark Chamberlain, who heads up the new advisory team, said: “Superfast broadband is about much more than speeding up your email or web browsing. It can revolutionise the way you do business in the same way it transformed home entertainment, and there’s compelling evidence that companies who use ICT effectively to support growth or improve efficiency gain a real competitive advantage.

“The advisory team is trained to show businesses from around East Lancashire how to use high-speed broadband to improve the way they operate, to boost productivity and streamline the way they connect with customers, staff and suppliers.

“Access to high-speed, high-quality broadband services is an important tool in helping businesses to maintain competitiveness and develop new market opportunities.

“Superfast broadband puts rural businesses on a level playing field with high-tech business parks in the UK.”

The programme will run be running three pilot workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday May 7 and 8 at the University of Central Lancashire, in Preston, covering cloud computing, digital marketing, video conferencing, collaborative working and customer relationship management.

The full programme commences in May, with the first seminars taking place in June.

A specialised Business Support Centre will open in the summer on Lancashire Business Park, in Leyland.