DIGITAL COMMUNITY CARDIGAN
The purpose of the Digital Community Cardigan by Menter Aberteifi Cyf was to support a community engagement, consultation and awareness exercise to develop a project that would install innovative ‘iBeacon’ technology, providing information and free public wi-fi in the centre of Cardigan town. iBeacon technology would allow Mobile Apps to listen for signals from beacons located around Cardigan town and react accordingly. Visitors and people local to Cardigan would have access to information such as local heritage, public services culture, etc.
The project has:
- Developed learning sessions (working with Wales Co-op) to provide community officers and business owner/managers with the means to pass digital knowledge on to their service users/clients/staff
- Provided Menter Aberteifi Cyf with the information and evidence needed to make an application to Welsh Government for RCDF funding
- Improved wi-fi access in Cardigan
- Provided businesses with information relating to customer behaviour
Project activities included:
- Individually consulting 8 service providers and 73 business organisations
- Holding 2 events to raise awareness of the project aims and gather intelligence on needs and wants.
- Developing a management plan to support the administration of the facility.
- Putting in an application for funding to purchase equipment.
- Consultations with stakeholders to develop content for iBeacons on visitor information, heritage, etc
- Creating a case study
As a result of the project a successful application was made to Welsh Government for RCDF funding to proceed with purchase and installation of hardware.
Owing to the extensive engagement work carried out by one volunteer member of the steering group and the project officer the benefits to the town in terms of information gathering and engagement go far beyond this project. Participation in the new Cardigan Town App has been increased and it is planned that this facility will run alongside the Wi-Fi provision so that the two projects will enhance one another and feed into the place plan.
Unexpectedly the project was offered a 2-week trial of three units by a potential supplier of wi-fi hardware, which enabled the gathering of statistics on usage by the general public and an understanding of how the system could work to the town’s benefit. The project officer negotiated an extension to 6 weeks so this covered two bank holiday weekends and one of the town’s major annual events. This enabled them to gather statistics on usage.
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.