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29 October 2014
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24.07.03

RADIO CUMBRIA


All aboard the BBC Bus


People in Cumbria are going to be driven into the digital age with a pioneering new project from the BBC.


A new high-tech bus is being unveiled next week with a fully-kitted out mobile radio studio and online computers.


It is part of an investment of more than £1 million additional funding by the BBC in the North East & Cumbria over the last two years which has meant new services and digital equipment.


"The new bus will hugely increase the access local people have to the BBC," says Nigel Dyson, Managing Editor, BBC Radio Cumbria.


"Individuals and community groups can drop in to surf the net or take part in more structured basic skills and multi-media training - or simply come in and see us broadcasting.


"Through the BBC and its partners, the learning horizons will be expanded for thousands of adults in Cumbria."


The ambitious BBC project – in partnership with Cumbria County Council and the Learning and Skills Council for Cumbria - will take programmes closer to communities and tackle the internet "digital divide".


Qualified tutors will be on hand to help people who have never used a computer before and offer advice to others who want to improve their skills.


The purpose built "interactive" bus is equipped with the latest technology to allow people to surf the internet; use a digital camera; edit videos on their PC; use a digital video camera to shoot their own film; create their own digital music; edit sound on their computer; master word processing; or make their own website.


Cumbria County Councillor Joan Stocker, Cabinet Spokesperson for Education, says: "I am delighted that the County Council is able to work in partnership with the BBC and the Learning & Skills Council to provide such an invaluable service.


"One of this council's priorities is to increase educational standards and skills levels and work in partnership with schools, Government agencies and other interested parties to do this.


"This bus will enable young people, who may not have easy access to IT equipment, to start using some of the latest technology. I wish it every success."


Mick Farley, Executive Director for the Learning and Skills Council, says: "The BBC Bus is an exciting project which will utilise the BBC brand to attract visitors and turn their curiosity into action through learning.


"The LSC Cumbria which champions the power of learning is proud to be a funding partner of the bus which will help extend and widen participation in learning."


The BBC Bus will spend up to a week in each location - whether it is a small village or large urban community - bringing learning opportunities to everyone's doorstep.


In each place, the bus team bring stories from the grass roots of Cumbria, and find people with an interesting story to tell.


Information on where the bus will visit is broadcast on BBC Radio Cumbria and on the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/cumbria.


Notes to Editors


BBC Bus will be open to the public next week at the following locations:


Monday 28 July


Asda, Carlisle - 11.00am to 5.00pm


Tuesday 29 July


Safeway, Whitehaven - 1.00 to 5.00pm


Wednesday 30 July


K Village, Kendal - 1.00 to 5.00pm


Thursday 31 July


Town Square, Barrow - 1.00 to 5.00pm


After the launch of the BBC Bus, it will spend up to a week in one place offering people the chance to try out the facilities and take up courses in learning.


The BBC Bus will be at Sainsbury's in Cockermouth between 11.00am and 3.00pm from Monday 4 to Thursday 7 August.


A list of forthcoming venues and dates is available on the BBC Cumbria website at www.bbc.co.uk/cumbria.


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