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The University of Manchester brings the World Wide Web to Ardwick

02 Mar 2007

The University of Manchester is helping to bring the information super highway to its inner city neighbours.

A new internet café supported by The University of Manchester will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Manchester on 6 March. The opening will be celebrated with a Chinese banquet, and a display of ceremonial dragons and fireworks.

It is hoped that the café will be used by the local Ardwick communities as an IT training and job search facility, as well as an after-school homework club by pupils at Medlock County Primary School.

The University of Manchester, in conjunction with Manchester City Council, has been involved with a number of initiatives to improve relationships with its neighbouring communities over the last two years. The University has reinforced its commitment by supplying computers and furniture for the internet café and users. Basic computing courses will also be offered to local residents and volunteers working in the café.

Lord Mayor of Manchester Cllr David Sandiford said: "This internet cafe is an excellent example of a community empowering themselves to access information and learning. It's a wonderful example of committed residents and public-spirited partners coming together to improve services for the whole community. I'm delighted to be asked to open the internet cafe and I'd like to congratulate everyone involved in making it a reality."

Steve Grant, Assistant Director of Human Resources at The University of Manchester, said: "We see this as an excellent opportunity to engage more productively with our neighbours in the Ardwick communities. We hope that the internet café will be widely used and will be seen as a valuable resource that will improve employment and training opportunities."

The internet café will function the same as any other café on the high street, but the emphasis will be on helping local residents to search for employment and training opportunities on-line. Formal after-school homework sessions will also be run by Medlock County Primary School.

The Ardwick area is one of the most economically disadvantaged in Manchester, with high levels of unemployment and low levels of academic achievement. Access levels to information technology and in particular the internet are low.

Notes to editors

The Sheung Lok Forever Happy internet café will be formally opened by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Cllr David Sandiford, at 4pm on Tuesday 6 March. The café is situated in the Grosvenor Centre, Justin Close, Chorlton-on-Medlock.

The University of Manchester has worked with the following local associations on the project: Chorlton-on-Medlock Tenants and Residents Association, Manchester Digital Development Agency, South Manchester Regeneration Team, Ardwick Ward Co-ordination and Wai Yin Chinese Women's Society.

If you would like to attend the opening, please contact Jon Keighren or Suzanne Ross, Media Relations Office on 0161 275 8384. Photographs will be available on request after the event.