Residents in Walney are one step closing to getting an improved broadband network.

Rural broadband specialists Voneus are working with Simon Fell, the MP for Barrow and Furness, to roll out gigabit broadband across the island.

The delivery of 'ultrafast connectivity' is expected to support the area's economic development, with the changes set to be in place by the summer.

Mr Fell said: "I first met Voneus as part of their work on the Solway Coast and I explained the challenges we’ve faced in bringing ultrafast broadband to Walney Island, which is frankly baffling given that over 10,000 people call it home.

"Thankfully, Voneus agreed to look into a solution for my constituents and I’m delighted we’ve been able to work with them to make it a reality."

The MP and Voneus are hosting a drop-in at Walney High School’s Innovation Centre on May 17 from 2pm until 5pm, providing a chance for residents to talk to representatives from the company to find out what better broadband will mean for them.

"I wrote to all the residents of Walney and the result of the survey was clear people wanted and needed better broadband," Mr Fell added.

“I look forward to working with Voneus to get this service rolled out and speaking to local residents about the benefits they are seeing once it is.”

The rollout of the network will not rely on digging up roads and blocking streets with road closures.

Walney School headteacher John Richardson said: “When Voneus approached us to ask if our school would like to play a part in helping to bring gigabit broadband to the community we were delighted.

"As a central part of the local community, we want to do all we can to support high speed online access which will help our students and their families access online learning both within school and at home.”

The CEO of Voneus Christopher Traggio explained how vital these changes will be for a rural area like Walney.

"We have thousands of customers - young householders, parents and grand-parents – who have all joined the switch to better broadband," he said.

"And now Walney residents can be part of this too, and see what better broadband can mean for them.”