The festive season is well and truly upon us and as we begin the final countdown to Christmas, I would like to give my warmest wishes and a huge thank you to the Coventry community.

We are not sending Christmas cards this year, and instead we are proud to support the Belgrade Theatre and its Making Memories appeal which provides a truly magical experience for families who would otherwise be unable to attend the theatre this Christmas.  The theatre plays an integral role in connecting the citizens of Coventry through culture and the arts, and we’re delighted to get behind such a fabulous, festive initiative. To find out more about this, visit: belgrade.co.uk/support-us/makingmemories

As we head in to 2020 we’ll be well into our second year of rolling out gigabit-capable full fibre infrastructure across the city. This £60m investment will bring fibre-to-the-premises connectivity in reach of nearly every home and business, making Coventry one of the best-connected locations on the planet.

It’s been a busy but fantastic year for us, with the first homes going live on the network in parts of Longford, Upper Stoke, Holbrooks, Foleshill, Bablake, Radford, Henley, Great Heath, Little Heath, Wood End and Walsgrave.

We also became official partners of Coventry City of Culture 2021, European City of Sport 2019, the Godiva Festival and the British Science Festival.

At the latter, we hosted our own event Tomorrow’s Technology in Coventry Today which shone a spotlight on the new initiatives that will establish Coventry as a leading Smart City. It showcased the incredible innovations being pioneered here and demonstrated how digital connectivity can be embraced in a way that benefits everyone in the community – from transforming communications, education and healthcare to improving how we move around and interact with the city.

And on that note, while residents and organisations are already beginning to reap the rewards of this next generation of digital infrastructure, we understand that delivering projects of this scale can cause disruption to residents.  Throughout 2020 we will continue to uphold our commitment to managing this as far as we possibly can and would like to thank everyone who has been supportive of the work we’ve done so far.

At the heart of our Gigabit City project are the people of Coventry and as such, some of our most enjoyable moments this year have been participating in the activities which have brought us closer to local communities.

From working with YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire’s Flourish programme to improve digital confidence and literacy among young women to participating in its Sleep Easy event to raise money for new homes for young people in need, and partnering with local primary schools where we part-funded a number of pupils’ trips to the World Championships in Robotics in Kentucky.

As we move into 2020, we look forward to continuing to work with the communities of Coventry and ensuring more people across the city can access the transformational benefits of gigabit speeds.

Leigh Hunt, City Manager for Coventry

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