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Final Day to Register for SMART Towns Project Workshop

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A new online workshop event for those with an involvement in the development of their town will explain how digital technology can drive growth in Town centres.

The Welsh Government recently announced a package of support to revitalise Welsh town centres. The aim is to enable businesses to plan projects which lead to economic growth as well as helping them make the best use of digital technology.

The Smart Town initiative is part of ‘The Year of Smart Towns’ project, backed by the Welsh Government’s package of support to revitalise Welsh town centres.  The project aims to drive economic growth by making the best use of digital technologies. 

An Introduction to the Year of Smart Towns online event on 27 January will provide a simple guide to the project and the available resources and activities. 

It will be followed by several Become a Smart Town workshops, with sessions taking place in the mornings and evenings. Sign up for the workshops here.

How high street businesses benefit from Smart technology

Understanding customers' needs has always been key to good business and today’s technologies can help local businesses and leaders understand how people are using high streets in incredible detail using data.

Electronic methods and sensors collect data for a defined urban area, or ‘Smart Town’. This data provides accurate insights into how to manage assets, resources and run efficient services, resulting in improved prosperity.

For example, analysing high street footfall data can accurately measure the impact of free parking so leaders can make informed decisions around planning and cost-effectiveness. 

‘It’s incredibly useful’

Business and Regeneration Officer at Mold Town Council, Joanna Douglass, told Business News Wales she was excited about the Smart Towns initiative

She said: “The smart technology – we are currently going through the mapping exercise of where the senors will be to ensure we’ve got the coverage – it will be so useful because we will be able to see the impact of marketing campaigns to see if they’re working. 

“We’ll be able to track the people and track where they are going and in what areas in Mold. So do we need to divert services to other areas? Is the signage right? We can have a good perspective over what’s happening in the town. Business can adapt their opening times to footfall and so on, it’s incredibly useful.”

Data collection provides an exciting opportunity to try new things, measure success and share best practices.

When are the free events and workshops?

YouTube video

Aims of the Year of Smart Towns

  • To raise awareness of Smart technology, its application and its benefits in towns across Wales.
  • To encourage dialogue around the Smart agenda on a local, regional and national level.
  • To develop ‘Smart Town literacy’ among individuals and groups involved in town centre regeneration on a local, regional and national level.
  • To highlight examples of best practice and use cases in towns in Wales.
  • To facilitate information sharing and collaboration between local, regional and national stakeholders.
  • To gain intelligence on the data available to towns to make informed decisions on a local, regional and national basis.