BoE governor Andrew Bailey cheers 'innovative' 5G tech at visit to hub in Dumfries

Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has hailed the “innovative” uses of 5G technology he has been shown on a visit to a pioneering facility in Dumfries.

The meeting with Mr Bailey, who was accompanied by Will Dowson, Bank of England’s agent for Scotland, took place at Crichton Central, 85-acre parkland estate The Crichton’s new co-working space and home to The Scotland 5G Centre’s S5G Connect Hub in Dumfries.

The Bank of England boss met Dr Ian Macmillan, Gwilym Gibbons and Rachel Cowper from The Crichton Trust and Julie Snell, Paul Coffey and Andy Todman from The Scotland 5G Centre, which says it is the national centre for accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G.

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They discussed the role technology plays in enhancing the impact rural communities can have on the wider economy, and The Scotland 5G Centre and the University of Glasgow showcased the potential of 5G with on-site robot demonstrations from the 5G testbed at Crichton Central.

Mr Bailey said: “I was delighted to see some innovative uses of 5G technology being developed in hubs like the one in Dumfries. The potential improvements for how we live and work should have positive impacts for businesses and households, particularly in rural parts of the economy.”

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The Crichton Trust chief executive Gwilym Gibbons said the visit “was a great opportunity for us to showcase our ambitions for The Crichton and the South of Scotland, but more importantly to demonstrate the potential for rural-based innovation to generate technological solutions to the big challenges we face”.

He added: "Due to our partnerships and the 5G testbed we have here, we are at the forefront of innovation when it comes to finding solutions to modern-day societal challenges and we are excited about the potential impact of our work.”

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Mr Bailey (centre) whose visit included on-site robot demonstrations from the 5G testbed at Crichton Central. Picture: Jenny Woolgar Photography.

Mr Coffey, chief executive of The Scotland 5G Centre, said: "We were pleased to host the Bank of England Governor visit to witness first-hand what the Crichton Centre and our Scotland 5GConnect hub at Dumfries has to offer.

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"Importantly, advanced connectivity enables choice. People will have access to a work environment, regardless of location... This has a tremendous advantage, not just at a personal level, but also to the economy as we lessen the impact such as the Covid-19 pandemic and rebuild a sustainable economy."

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