Teesside Airport and efforts to breathe new life into the heart of Hartlepool have received a £200,000 technology boost.
The Tees Valley Combined Authority has been successful in its bid to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and its 'Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme'.
This will mean the existing 5G network at Teesside Airport will be tested with new columns providing smart lighting, CCTV, traffic counters, environmental monitoring and smart screens to offer cutting edge technology to passengers, visitors and firms.
The £202,500 will also benefit the Hartlepool Mayoral Development Corporation with the columns there to incorporate 5G small cells, smart screens, smart street lighting, and other technology to compliment the Hartlepool Waterfront Connectivity project.
This is being undertaken as part of Hartlepool Town Deal to deliver improvements to the route between the waterfront and railway station.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Teesside Airport has a proud record of sitting at the vanguard of new technology – we were the first in the country to install new security scanners which will allow our passengers to carry larger liquid containers.
“Our early efforts to install 5G around our airport have proved successful so far and this cash will help us go further.
“Making Hartlepool a cultural capital also means people and businesses need proper connectivity – so I’m delighted we can supercharge our push on the waterfront with the help of this fund.”
The Combined Authority was supported by partners Dense Air in the successful bid.
The company leads several DSIT projects, developing innovative and smart 4G & 5G technology. They recently deployed a test 5G Network at Teesside Airport, with this existing network designed to support the test and trials of smart infrastructure.
Sir John Whittingdale, Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, said: “The way we stay in touch, access information and do business is underpinned by digital connectivity - and a world-class wireless infrastructure will be the foundation for the jobs, skills, and services of the future.
“We want to ensure that towns and cities across the UK are right at the forefront of this connectivity revolution, ready to seize the opportunities it will bring for local communities, which is exactly what these pilots are about.
“They will help demonstrate how advanced wireless technology can enable areas to innovate and deliver better public services, from rolling out electric vehicle chargers to boosting business growth and helping keep our streets safe.”
The pilot programme will begin start next month and run until 31 March 2025.