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New Digital Community Hub for Knighton

Knighton Library Digital Hub

12 July 2023

Knighton Library Digital Hub
A new Digital Community Hub has been launched at a mid-Powys library, the county council has said.

Knighton and District Community Centre & Library have developed a new service to support residents to become more confident online, improve their general ICT skills, and develop the skills necessary to navigate digital life in the 21st Century.

The centre hosted an open day on 23 May where they showcased the services that are on offer, which include,

  • Fully equipped co-working and collaborative spaces
  • Solo pod for online or private calls
  • Digital meeting equipment for fully online or hybrid meetings
  • Digital information screen, with local information and the town calendar
  • Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi printing
  • Bookable help and support sessions
  • Devices for loan, such as iPads
  • Access to the national data bank of 4G SIM cards for those meeting the criteria
  • Meeting rooms for hire
  • Bookable training facilities, including a bank of laptops
  • Community library café on Tuesday mornings and lunches on Thursdays

The open day welcomed around 45 people to the centre, allowing residents to bring their own devices to ask for advice, which was taken up by many. In the afternoon, many then stayed for a training session using the online graphic design system, Canva.

The Digital Community Hub has been funded by the UK Shared Prosperity fund, part of the Levelling Up agenda and is being delivered by Knighton Community Centre and Powys Library Service.

Cllr David Selby, Powys County Council's Cabinet Member for a More Prosperous Powys, said: "It's fantastic to see the Digital Community Hub up and running in Knighton. By working in partnership with the Community Centre, we are able to develop a service which really meets the needs of local people and helps them to build their skills.

"There are also many volunteering opportunities on offer, giving residents a chance to share the skills and knowledge which they have learnt in the hub with others, creating a self-sustaining, robust community for the future, where everyone helps each other. This is a great example of working together."

Chair of the Knighton & District Community Centre Management Committee, Michael Harding, said: "It's a great opportunity to welcome more people into the Comm, for a wide range of digital reasons - from getting advice from the virtual Citizen's Advice Bureau, becoming confident when completing online forms for job applications, housing and benefits entitlement, confirming or changing health appointments, to helping local startup businesses connect with their online markets and like-minded business partners.

"And of course, the Digital Hub will be helping local residents with the basics for modern digital life - how to use Word, Excel and other common software, where to find reliable advice online, how to get the most from mobile devices, how to stay secure online - allowing them to develop their skills to match opportunities in our region.

"Hybrid meeting facilities allow the Knighton Comm and Library to be fully connected with the world beyond. The Comm recently celebrated receiving the coveted 'Investors in Volunteers' status - the award meeting was held online between a roomful of people in Knighton and the assessors, who were in Northern Ireland and Italy!

"This digital initiative opens up so many opportunities we can deliver from our own doorstep. We are delighted to work with the Powys Library service to jointly develop this project."