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The best of British cycling came to Motherwell on 17 May with Round 2 of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and the opening race in the Matrix Fitness Women’s Grand Prix.

Scottish rider Eileen Roe took the individual victory in the women’s event, with the Drop Cycling Team finishing as the top team.

In the main men’s race, Jon Mould crossed the line first, with his team JLT Condor presented by Mavic taking the team win.

Speaking after the race, Jack Pullar from the Pedal Heaven team, said: “I was here last year with a different team and the crowds have got bigger and I think it’s going to keep getting better and better so I’m hoping to be back here next year.

“There’s been events going all day so it’s good to see everyone getting involved. At a grassroots level, it’s good to get kids into sport early and this event has been great for that.”

Ahead of the professional races, more than 80 pupils from Logans, Ladywell, Cathedral, Knowetop and Glencairn Primary Schools cycled around the race circuit and over 100 amateur cyclists, including young riders from the Scottish Development Squad, took part in races organised by Scottish Cycling.

Pupils from Ladywell Primary were mascots for the teams competing in the men’s Tour Series race.

Hosts North Lanarkshire Council also held a Corporate Grand Prix with 11 teams of staff from the council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue, event sponsors Mears and St Andrew’s Hospice, North Lanarkshire Leisure and CultureNL competing in a relay around the circuit. Winners were the team from Mears and St Andrew’s Hospice: Ian Barton, Colin Peacock, Mims Watt, Alan McIntyre and Dougie Muirhead.

“Thank you to everyone who turned out to watch the cycling action – it was another fantastic event in Motherwell with crowds lining the route to support the riders,” said Provost North Lanarkshire.

“Cycling is a fast-growing sport and we are delighted to host a prestigious event like the Tour Series. Along with next year’s British Transplant Games and the 2018 European Championships’ triathlon and rowing events, it highlights again our ability to bring world class sport to North Lanarkshire.”

It was top marks for Digital Scotland this week as pupils from Westfield Primary School in Cumbernauld helped welcome the latest batch of fibre broadband in the town.

Around 800 households and businesses in Cumbernauld can now access high-speed fibre services as part of the £410 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, building on the town’s existing fibre broadband network.

Local people need to sign up for the new services with an internet service provider, as upgrades are not automatic.

The premises join more than 21,000 in North Lanarkshire which are now able to access fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland rollout. Other local areas now live thanks to the programme include Airdrie, Kilsyth, Glenboig and Chryston.

More local coverage will follow as engineers from Openreach, BT’s local network business, continue work on the ground.

Head Teacher, Carol Ellington, and pupils Joshua Dukes – Primary 7, Samuel Hunter – Primary 7, Ayla Thomson – Primary 6 and Rebecca Quinn – Primary 6, helped with the celebrations at a special event on Thursday. They joined Councillor Paddy Hogg, as well as members from the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme, to unveil one of the new street cabinets that will serve part of the town.

Fibre broadband offers fast and reliable broadband connections at speeds of up to 80Mbps* and there are many suppliers in the marketplace to choose from.

Whether you own a business, work from home or want to keep in touch with friends and family, fibre broadband enables multiple users to connect to the internet at high speeds and get better, faster access to online services.

The Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme – in partnership with the Scottish Government and BT – will deliver access to fibre broadband to around 95% of premises by the end of March 2018, when combined with existing commercial roll-out plans. The £410 million programme underpins the Scottish Government’s aim for Scotland to become a world class digital nation by 2020.

Delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in their area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland – the partnership currently reaches more than 590,000 premises across the country, with the rollout continuing at pace.

Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund. BT has invested £126 million in the two projects, in addition to its commercial rollout.

On the day, pupils from Westfield Primary also had a lesson with a difference as they climbed aboard the Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase, a specially-adapted vehicle which features all of the equipment used in the roll-out of fibre broadband.

It includes kit which is familiar to members of the public – like the new green street cabinets – as well as some of the things they don’t often see, such as how fibre-optic cables are ‘blown’ underground.

A small number of the homes and businesses in the Cumbernauld area are served by ‘Exchange Only’ lines. These run directly from the exchange to the premises – bypassing the usual road-side cabinets which are integral to the fibre rollout. Engineers have rearranged the existing network, laying new cables to reroute lines through extra road-side cabinets, to overcome this challenge.

Head Teacher at Westfield Primary School, Carol Ellington, said: “It was fantastic to have the Digital Scotland team visit the school and involve some of the pupils in helping launch the latest fibre broadband in the town. Having the fibre showcase at the school was also a great opportunity for pupils to see the amount of hard engineering work that’s involved in connecting up communities to fibre broadband. As well as this, it also showed them how beneficial it would be when it comes to their school work and various other aspects of their home life.”

Councillor Allan Graham, Convener of Regeneration and Infrastructure, said: “It’s good to see this project reaching more communities and giving an increasing number of homes and businesses the opportunity to connect to high-speed broadband. We are determined to make sure everyone in North Lanarkshire has access to digital services and the skills and confidence to go online and use them, even from a young age.”

Sara Budge, Programme Director for Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband, said: “It’s great news that many residents and businesses in and around Cumbernauld are now able to receive fibre broadband thanks to the programme, with more local coverage to follow.

“It was a pleasure having some of the pupils joining us for the launch. I also hope that all the children at the school enjoyed visiting our Digital Scotland Fibre Showcase and found it insightful in finding out what fibre broadband can provide and how it’s delivered.

“The difference that fibre broadband can make is amazing. Once signed up with a service provider, it will give much more flexibility whether it’s at work or in the home.”

Liz Mallinson, BT Scotland’s Fibre Broadband Director, ended: “Thousands of people in North Lanarkshire now have the opportunity to access their best ever broadband speeds when they sign up with a service provider. There’s lots of competition out there and people may find they could be surfing at much higher speeds at a similar cost to their current service.

“We’d like to thank the schools for having us – it’s great that local pupils were able to get an insight into how high-speed technology powers the internet and learn about a very positive side to a career in engineering.”

Local people can check the interactive map on the Digital Scotland website (http://www.scotlandsuperfast.com/where-when/) to find out if they can get the service and further information is also available on Twitter @ScotSuperfast or Facebook at www.facebook.com/scotlandsuperfast

Scotland’s largest free procurement event makes a welcome return for 2016

Buyers and suppliers from across the Scottish public sector will meet in Edinburgh this summer for the 8th annual “Meet The Buyer” event hosted by the Supplier Development Programme.

Bringing together buyers from local Councils, NHS, universities and colleges, transport and more, the event offers businesses the rare opportunity to speak directly to purchasers and decision-makers from a range of industries. This year’s event will be supported by key partners Business Gateway and the Scottish Government.

Gillian Cameron of the Supplier Development Programme said, “We are delighted that the Scottish Government and Business Gateway have joined us for the 8th year of our event. 2016 brings with it some of the biggest changes in public procurement that we have seen in Scotland, and it’s an exciting time for SME’s in particular to think about entering the marketplace. This event will give newcomers and seasoned bidders alike the tools and contacts to help them win more public sector contracts”

As well as a unique networking opportunity, Meet The Buyer 2016 will feature presentations and seminars from key buyers and industry experts, including information on the upcoming changes in procurement legislation. This is an invaluable way to make contacts and find out more about supplying goods and services in this £10billion marketplace.

Hugh Lightbody, Lead Officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, also added: “Business Gateway supports thousands of SMEs every year in all parts of Scotland by helping them grow and, as a result, add to the local and national economies.  Business opportunities from the public sector for Scotland’s SMEs have now increased as a result of recent changes to public procurement so now is an ideal time to meet buyers from many sectors and to learn more about tendering for contracts.  We are delighted to be involved in this year’s event and urge SMEs to attend.”

The event will run from 10am- 4pm on Thursday 2nd June in BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh. For more information and to book visit www.sdpscotland.co.uk/events/meet-buyer-2016/  or contact 01698 453 734

april, 2018

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