The duo will ensure that Manchester-based communities are equipped with the tools they need for an increasingly digital society
The collaboration between Cellnex – Europe’s largest independent telecoms infrastructure provider – and local charity Forever Manchester will see the launch of two funds to tackle digital exclusion across the city.
The Cellnex Digital Inclusion Funds will support the growth and development of digital inclusion projects and activities across Manchester and will concentrate on the three main themes of the Greater Manchester Digital Inclusion Strategy: empowering communities and places; increasing confidence, skills and motivation; and affordability, accessibility, and connectivity.
Examples of projects that could be funded include improving online access for jobseekers, providing refurbished computers to the community, or running training sessions to improve digital skills.
“Digital inclusion is essential for creating a more equitable society where everyone has the opportunity to thrive in the increasingly connected world,” said Clare Cranton, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Cellnex UK.
“Local groups understand how they can work best to promote digital inclusion in their communities. We hope the Digital Inclusion Fund will give communities the chance to fund projects that allow them to develop their skills and improve the opportunities available to them going forward,” she continued.
The first fund is open to groups of local residents or a small community organisations with a combined income of less than £2,000 and will award grants of up to £500. The second, larger fund is open to community organisations with a combined annual income of less than £150,000 and will award up to £5,000.
The deadline to apply for these grants is 18th August 2023, with responses to applications expected by late October.
It is worth noting that the Forever Manchester partnership is not Cellnex’s first charitable endeavor. Since 2021, the tower operator has been partnered with UK Community Foundations, providing support to numerous initiatives, including awarding £18,000 to digitally isolated residents of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, £9,000 to support rural village halls in Humberside to become more digitally inclusive, and providing elderly people in Wales with digital skills.
Want to learn more about the digital transformation of Greater Manchester and the North of the UK? Join the telecoms industry in discussion at next year’s Connected North conference