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Richard Walker
Gwynedd Council's Richard Walker
"There was definitely some scepticism 12 months ago"
 real 28k

Saturday, 29 April, 2000, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Village signs point to superhighway
Penrhydeudraeth village
Fifty families and businesses are now online
A north Wales village could be the first place in the country to have its website address on road signs if the National Assembly gives the go-ahead.

The plan would reflect the new status of Penrhyndeudraeth in Gwynedd as Wales's first e-village.

When the plan to put the entire village on the internet was proposed a year ago there was a lot of scepticism.


Russell Grant
Russell Grant helped launch the website
But once people realised Gwynedd Council was serious about the project people began to sign up in droves, said the council's Richard Walker.

The project is part-funded through an European grant from Llwybr/Pathway and is led by Gwynedd Council, the Welsh Development Agency's Deudraeth 2000 scheme and rural development body CYMAD.

Fifty families and businesses have now received a grant covering 50% of the cost of buying a computer, printer, internet connections and call charges.

Now 96% of the villagers regularly use the internet.

The latest chapter in the high-tech success story was the launch of the town's own website by Assembly Presiding Officer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas and celebrity astrologer Russell Grant in Portmeirion.

Celebrity support

Members of the public, representatives from the County and Town Council as well as the private sector heard of the first year's success, and were given a glimpse of this site.

They also heard of the expansion possibilities for the project across Gwynedd and the Objective One area of west Wales and the Valleys.

Now an application is to be made to the National Assembly for the website address to be put on signs in the area.

Mr Grant, who lives near the village, is a big fan of the project.

He said he hoped the site would be looked at by people planning to visit the area and that it would help them appreciate its beauty.

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