Masterchef finalist Tim Kinnaird champions Norfolk broadband campaign
Masterchef finalist Tim Kinnaird is championing a new website promoting the attractions of Swaffham – and has joined the rest of the local business community in backing the EDP's campaign for better broadband.
The 'www.aroundswaffham.co.uk' site, and its accompanying printed guide, aims to publicise the market town's charms to visitors from around the globe, as well as highlighting its shops and producers to those living closer to home.
Members of the Swaffham Tourism Association said the need for a vibrant internet presence was now an indispensable part of its national and international promotion strategy.
It formed the essence of the design brief for the website, and is also the reason the association has encouraged people to sign up for the Say Yes to Better Broadband campaign, run jointly by the EDP and Norfolk County Council.
Mr Kinnaird, who reached the final of the BBC's cooking competition in 2010, bakes cakes for his Macarons and More company in nearby Watton.
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Like many other entrepreneurs, he said he was becoming increasingly reliant on the internet to find new suppliers and customers – and added his own plea for Norfolk homes and businesses to register their interest in a superfast upgrade.
'My whole business is constructed around Twitter and social networking,' he said. 'It means I can make a cake, take a picture of it, stick it on the website and then Tweet about it - and hopefully then people will want to buy it.
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'Suddenly my market is everywhere. On Thursday I sent some cakes to Fife and Glasgow, and there's no way I could have done that without the internet.
'This campaign is not about what we need broadband for now, it is about what we might need it for in five years' time.'
The website, designed by Helen Burns of Little Ninja Media, lists local suppliers and features images of the town and surrounding countryside taken by photographer Nick Ford. It includes a page celebrating the Brecks Food and Drink Festival which takes place on September 14, 15 and 16 this year as part of the month-long Norfolk Food Festival.
Vanessa Scott, of the town's Strattons Hotel, is also chairman of the Swaffham Tourism Association and the Brecks Food and Drink Festival.
She said: 'Swaffham is a very special place to live with a vibrant local community.
'The key thing about the website is trying to list not only tourism providers but also everything that is unique to us in terms of our local food suppliers and our landscape. It is an absolute necessity for tourism. We couldn't compete with other parts of the country, or the world, otherwise.
'This campaign is about people taking the trouble to click on the county council's site and register their interest. It is amazing the amount of people who don't seem to realise how important it is to do it.'
?Visit the website at www.aroundswaffham.co.uk.
?The Better Broadband for Norfolk project aims to bring superfast 30Mbps download speeds to as much of the county as possible and a minimum of 2Mbps for everyone by 2015. Although �30m of public funding has been made available, the Say Yes campaign aims to prove the commercial demand which will attract private investment to the scheme.
Norfolk residents and businesses can sign up online at www.norfolk.gov.uk/sayyesnorfolk, or by calling 0344 800 8023.