Hundreds of Stratford's visitors and locals have been taking advantage of the new free WiFi service installed across the town centre.
Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID), with the support of Warwickshire County Council, has introduced the technology which will help shoppers and tourists become part of the ‘Digital High Street’.
BID manager Karen Wild explained that while engineers had been testing the service over the last few days and people have already started logging on and benefitting from the WiFi.
She said: “It just shows how important such things are to anyone out shopping or those coming to Stratford on business or to take in some of our historic sights.
“During testing we have had hundreds of people using the WiFi and we’ve yet to advertise the service – the window stickers are only now going out to businesses. The company supplying the system has told me that while people often log in at this early stage, the numbers we are seeing are unprecedented – they’ve been blown away.”
It is a simple one-off process to register for the WiFi and Stratforward will be able to message users about future events and send out promotions to those who are happy to receive such information. Businesses will also be able to access footfall figures which, among other things, will show how people move around the town.
Warwickshire county councillor Jenny Fradgley, whose Stratford South ward covers part of the area covered by the new free WiFi, said: “This is a huge year for Stratford and it will be interesting to look at the data and see what impact this year’s festivals have on footfall in the town.
“And while this new system is perfect for all our visitors and people doing business, it will also benefit all those living in our historic town – giving residents 21st Century facilities. Let’s not forget that they are the ones who take care of our shops and business all the year round.”
The free WiFi system was installed by Midlands-based Elephant Wifi who have worked with the county council on other projects across Warwickshire. There has also been support from Stratford District Council.
L to R: Mida Zouhou, Karen Wild, Cllr Jenny Fradgley and local celeb snapper Mark Wilkinson!