Education secretary David Blunkett will announce tomorrow [TUESDAY] at the Children, Family and Community Conference that the government has awarded a grant worth up to£1m to Tesco, the supermarket group.
The cash will be used to help the retailer fund a chain of in-store internet cafes.
Initially, Tesco will install cyber cafes in 10 of its stores, but there is potential to extend the scheme into all 400 of its UK supermarkets if the cafes prove popular. Tesco will shoulder the£1m up-front costs or reconfiguring existing cafes in its supermarkets to accomodate 10 internet-enabled computer terminals. It will use the funding to help subsidise running costs. This will enable Tesco to charge customers a reduced rate of£1 for every 30 minutes they spend surfing the net.
Customers will also benefit from free internet training provided in the cafes by local further education colleges.
Mr Blunkett will also announce details of a tie-up with Tesco to promote its internet sites childcarelink.gov.uk and worktrain.gov.uk, both of which are designed to encourage people to take part in childcare and training initiatives and will be promoted in the cyber cafes.