Digital Access and Inclusion

Get online and love the benefits
We’re offering free training sessions for people who want to do things online but don’t know how or where to start. So far with our partners, 1139 Chorley residents have completed digital skills training/courses in the last 12 months. 

Having digital skills and being active online provides great opportunities and benefits. You can search for information, keep in touch with friends and family, book cheap holidays, find the best energy deals, access health and public services and improve employability skills. 
We as a council are also making greater use of digital services to improve efficiency and ultimately save council tax payers money. To make the most of this, residents need to know what services they can access online, how they do it and what the benefits are.

For example, many of our services can be accessed online such as:
• Reporting a missed bin collection
• Ordering a new bin
• Paying your council tax
• Viewing a planning application which may impact on your home
• Ordering a parking permit
• Applying for housing benefit
• Reporting dog fouling/fly tipping/litter/graffiti
• Reporting damaged play equipment
• And so much more

We’re giving people the opportunity to learn how to use the internet so they can learn to love it and in turn live with its great benefits of doing things online, safely and securely. 

With our partners, we organise regular beginners' sessions in community venues across the borough. We can start with the absolute basics and you can learn on our laptops/tablets or bring your own if you have one. ​​​

You can find where and what time the current sessions are by clicking on the document in the ‘Download it’ section on the right of this page.

The training sessions are free – you can book your place by phoning 01257 515151 or, if you already have internet access, email us at

  • Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

    What is the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme?

    Full fibre broadband connections offer the fastest and most reliable speeds available, and the government is committed to a vision of a full fibre Britain. As part of this commitment, the government has announced their £67m Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

    Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the local communities surrounding them to contribute to the installation cost of a gigabit-capable connection. Businesses can claim up to £2,500, eligible rural businesses can claim up to £3,500 against the cost of connection either individually or as part of a group project via the scheme.

    What is a gigabit connection?

    The UK now has more than 95% coverage of superfast broadband with speeds of 24 megabits per second or higher. However, most superfast connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, a full fibre connection is required.

    One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future. Please see more information

    Chorley Council would like to hear from Chorley businesses interested in Gigabit Vouchers, with the view of supporting businesses to apply for the scheme. In addition, we can support you by providing further information and signposting for the Gigabit Vouchers.

    If this is of interest to you please contact us by email to​

  • Digital Champions

    Could you be a Digital Champion?

    We are currently seeking Digital Champion volunteers to help provide residents of Chorley and the surrounding parishes with the digital skills to benefit from the online world, but also the knowledge of how to stay safe online.

    Digital Champions help a range of people from family and friends to people they work with. They might help people at a local community centre, housing scheme or other venue.

    Chorley Council will provide support and training to volunteers as well as any other assistance required. 

    You don't have to be an IT whizz to be a Digital Champion, just a bit of spare time, an enjoyment for being online, confidence with basic computer use and most of all willingness to help others.

    Digital Champions assist with:

    •Using the internet   
    •Using email
    •Using tablets 
    •Keeping in touch with friends and family
    •Using job searching web​​sites
    •Code Clubs for young people
    •Staying safe online

    Check out some of the great work our Digital Champions do - Tablet courses are really getting people connected.​

    If you are interested or wish to find out more, please email

  • iDEA

    iDE​A is a program that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free through a series of online challenges. The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award is an accredited national programme. You can win career and life enhancing badges, unlock new opportunities and, ultimately, gain industry recognised awards that help you stand out from the crowd. iDEA is about lifelong learning, for anyone who wants to develop their skills. Learners include young people, apprentices, business leaders, pensioners, students and community groups.

    Get started today
    To take part in iDEA:


    Create an account, then select 'have a badge code' 

    Enter D1G1CHORLEY and redeem your Digital Chorley badge.

    You will see your Digital Chorley badge and points appear in your badge store.

    Select badges to complete and away you go. 

    For help and support you can attend one of our digital sessions or contact us using​.

    You can also redeem an additional Digital Lancashire badge code for additional bronze award points
    Over 18's - D1G1LANCS18UP
    Under 18's - D1G1LANCS18UN

  • Digital Skills for Businesses

    In partnership with Lancashire Digital Skills Hub and Google Garage we run free digital skills sessions for businesses to allow them to benefit from the digital world. Businesses can benefit from sessions such as; Building a Digital Marketing Plan, Introduction to Digital Advertising and Social Media Strategy. Take a look at the 'Download it' section to see when the next sessions are taking place. 

  • Directory of free internet access points

    We’re also aware that not everyone has easy access to the internet, so we are also committed to developing a directory listing the free public access points across the borough for those who don’t have  internet access at home. The directory will be updated as more venues become available. You can click on the directory under the ‘Download it’ section on the right of this page.​

  • Key Messages

    You can access council services 24/7 at​
    It is quicker and easier to do things online saving you time and taxpayers money

    Using the internet can open up lots of opportunities from using comparison sites, to seeing friends or relatives on the other side of the world. 

    Being online can help with employment and help you save money on almost anything you want to buy. 

    Having access to the internet will benefit your health and wellbeing too, by accessing online health services. 

    We want to help everyone learn the basics of computers and the internet - we want to make sure as many people as possible have access to the internet and the skills that go with it. 

  • FAQs

    How much knowledge do I need?
    None at all, the sessions are aimed at beginners or people who would like to practice and gain confidence online.

    What will I learn?
    The sessions are relaxed and informal and you can learn at your own pace. We look at how to find information on the internet, how to stay safe online and ways to communicate online such as via email, skype or social networking.

    Do I need to have my own computer?
    No, you can use one of our laptops for the training sessions but if you have your own laptop, ipad or tablet you can bring it along. In the sessions you can find out more about what you’ll need if you want to get online at home or alternatively you can continue to get online using one of the free digital access points in Chorley.

    How long is each session?
    The length of each session depends on the customer. Customers may attend 1 session, or a weekly course that can be attended for as many weeks as they wish until they feel comfortable online.

    How much does the training cost?
    It is offered free of charge by Chorley Council.

    When is the next course?
    You can find where and what time the current sessions are by clicking on the document in the ‘Download it’ section on the right of this page. If you don’t see a suitable time or location for you please call and put your name down on the waiting list.

    What if I have a disability or condition which may make it difficult for me to join in?
    The internet is for everyone. Please telephone our digital inclusion officer on 01257 515151 to discuss.

    What should I bring with me?
    Remember to bring reading glasses if you need them. If you have your own laptop, ipad, tablet or smartphone you can bring it with you.

  • Useful Information

    Free Online learning is available from a number of links which you can find in the 'Useful links' section on the right hand side of this page. ​​​

  • Our Partners