|There are now hundreds
of sites on the Internet carrying information about towns, cities, villages
and regions in the UK - and thousands more around the world.
Some are local councils limited to 'official' information. Others are run by private companies or volunteer enthusiasts, or partnerships of interests. They cater for residents and businesses in their area - and visitors who may just drop in for a 'virtual visit' or use the site to book a hotel or conference.
Sometimes all information is centrally prepared and 'broadcast' - sometimes the users can join in discussions and create their own pages. Sites which offer a wide range of information relevant to all sections of the local community; some also encourage feedback or offer more interaction through conferencing.
More on our criteria
for choosing sites, and how to suggest sites for addition to our list
Created by Barnsley City Challenge and involving local business, government, education and community groups, aims to be a not-for-profit organisation owned and controlled by the membership. Publishes and provides space for other groups to publish community information. Will offer training, low cost access and development meetings. Will assist in the provision of public access points. Email: David Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Includes Bedfordshire local govt sites, business , tourist & community info. Limited interaction, no public access sites, although Bedford Council offers guestbook. Email: email@example.com
(Active System for Supplying Information on Services via Telematics), a University of Birmingham research project commissioned by the Economic Development Department of Birmingham City Council. Comprehensive local community information with a search engine, some interaction and plans for public access. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual Brighton and Hove
Private and local council partnership. Comprehensive local information with search engine. Offers interactive chat and guestbook, free web space for community groups. No public access points and limited training. Developing community pages for groups. Email: Simon Turner (email@example.com) See also SCIP
South Bristol Learning Network
DoE TEC Challenge initiated, now self-sustainable as a not-for-private-profit company. Public funding received is for specific training projects. Provides jargon-free training and services for all sectors of the community including short introductory hands-on workshops for beginners
through to advanced web authoring courses, multimedia Roadshows and web space for local community groups. Does not aim to deliver managed services for the community but equips them with the tools to be able to do this themselves. Doesn't offer public access points directly. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
See Success stories from Bristol.
Cambridge On-line City
Started by the local MP, the project involves partnership between commercial, public and voluntary sections of the community, and has been sponsored by the local Cable company and Internet provider. It provides public access points across the city (with trained staff to help) as well as a comprehensive local information service. See also Cambridge Councty Council. Email: James.Nightingale@it.camcnty.gov.uk
Based on 01442 telephone code area around Hemel Hempstead, but covering the counties of Hertfordshire, Bucks Beds and Oxfordshire. Funded by Internet Research Laboratory and Eco International. A directory, rather than a publisher of community information. Includes a bulletin borad and discussion forum and free Web Sites to community groups, non-profit making organisations and emergency services. Also providing training and aiming for public access points. Email: Philip Russell (email@example.com)
Cheshire County Council
A council run site with comprehensive local information, No interaction but a little user involvement. Four public access points. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Coventry and Warwickshire Network
Comprehensive community information with guest book. Email: email@example.com
See also spON-LINE, the community website for Spon End and Lower Coundon. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Initiated by Croydon Library, mainly business and tourism information about the area, with a searchable database. Limited community information, no interaction or public access points. Email: email@example.com
Dewsbury and Batley
Created by Dewsbury & Batley Management Services, a subsidiary of Dewsbury Further Education College. City Challenge and business information. No interaction, public access points. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMNet (East Midlands)
Supported by the EU, this initiative is mainly a directory of links. Cross-sector support for promoting the area for business benefit. No interaction. Email: email@example.com
Grimethorpe Electronic Village Hall Group
Set up by enthusiasts to create a telecottage, now offers training, advice, services and 5 networked machines to members. Offer advice to community groups and charities on the type of equipment and software to meet their needs. Aiming to raise the necessary funds to develop a community information network. Funded mainly by members subscriptions etc. and small donations from local funders. Email: Steve Bradshaw (GEVH@barnsley.demon.co.uk)
Hantsweb (Hamphire Council Community Pages)
A local authority initiative giving a searchable directory of 250,000 pages about the local community, services and community organisation. Includes Cousin, a community database of over 18,000 organisation details and an Email directory with around 15,000 addresses. Interaction includes an Events noticeboard where local events can be advertised using an on line form. Offers web space to local community organisations, including schools, Parish councils and voluntary organisations. Email: David Boyce (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hebden Bridge Web (http://www.eclipse.co.uk/pens)
One of the first community websites, now has hundreds of pages. Mailto: email@example.com
Library Online Information Service (LOIS)
Formerly the Golden Valley Information Project (Hereford), this rural project provides local information via a 64K leaseline network of terminals, with council council and TEC support, to all libraries and two district council networks. All local\regional information is supplied as a high speed intranet as well as on the Internet site.Training and free space is now being provided to district councils and other organisations that provide information to enable them to maintain and eventually develop their own web pages. Little interaction. Email: David Morris (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The NEXUS Consortium (Hertford)
A local online directory for the East Herts Area. Future plans include the opening of an Internet Style Cafe. Offers clubs and arts centres and any other non profit organisation free pages. Email: Craig MacKenzie (email@example.com)
Kington Connected Community
Private/Public partnership to provide technology services to all sectors of the local community, including bulletin boards and web design. Some community information and guest book. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirklees Interactive Telematics Partnership (KITP) initiated, provides searchable local cross sector information. Inclusive co-ordination function and support for funding. Email: email@example.com
A full community information site, with search, featuring a Lancashire discussion page for ex-pats. Email: Ian Corban (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Blaby on the Net
Email Trevor Locke (email@example.com)
Leeds City Council
A council comprehensive community information site managed by Leeds Library and Information Services. Contains Word Arena, an interactive area for writers, email links to councillors, A-Z index of contents and a search engine. Public access planned for 1997. Email: Peter Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Liverpool City Council information site with guest book.
The EU and private sector funded University of Liverpool site MerseyWorld has more business and community information. Offers free web space, authoring, mailing lists and training for local organisations and SMEs. Running an 'Internet Express' which visits libraries and sets up an 'Internet cafe' with 20 terminals providing awareness and training to the local community. Partners in this venture include Hewlett Packard, IBM, Telewest and the 5 Merseyside councils. Email: Bernard Friery (email@example.com)
The School of Communications, Dublin City University, is researching how the voluntary sector is using information and communication technologies. One purpose of the research project is to identify the best ways of using these technologies for voluntary and community work.
Dublin Community Network is trying to develop internet use (mainly around the Web and email) among the community sector in inner city Dublin with Dublin Inner City Partnership and creating a forum for information exchange on line.
Northern Ireland Government Home Page
Northern Ireland's Community Communications Network
A project with cross sector support, CINNI provides an Internet service for charities and voluntary sector community based organisations, including support, training and Internet connection. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
North Antrim Community Network
A rural internet infrastructure.
Contact: Brian O' Neill email@example.com
Community Information Service
Scottish Office, Urban Aid Funded, Edinburgh City Council sponsored community Internet service provider, encouraging groups to get on-line. At least 150 community groups are linked into the Craignet, including 48 secondary schools. Provides a searchable data source for a wide range of local organisations and free Internet email accounts, helplines, training, web pages and space. Community groups can also access Craignet (a network of computers), the Internet, OneNet BBS (this is the European super hub for a freenet of 3 million users world wide), local bulletin boards, and news groups for free. Email: Andy McDonald (Wordsmith@ccis.org.uk)
See also the sites maintained by The Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University and The City of Edinburgh Council.
Founded by University of Wales, Cardiff County Council and South Glamorgan TEC and with increased community support, this full public information site has notice boards, a guest book and seven public access points. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Prepared by Communities Online May 19, 1997