NEW FREE WIFI SERVICE FOR STRATFORD TOWN CENTRE
Stratford’s businesses, shoppers and visitors will soon be able to use a new free WiFi service set to be installed across the town centre by the end of the year.
Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) announced the plans at its Annual General Meeting on October 1st with the system set to go live in November.
With support and a financial contribution from Warwickshire County Council, BID manager Karen Wild said it was an ideal opportunity to embrace the ‘Digital High Street’ and the enormous benefits which that would bring.
She said: “Such a scheme will bring obvious positives to the many thousands of people who visit our town whether it’s on business, as part of a leisure break or on a shopping trip.
But the service will also be a boost to shops and businesses in Stratford as it will provide information on those using the WiFi, allowing traders to see key statistics including how long people stay in town and how often they visit.
It will also allow Stratforward to message users about various upcoming events and promotions to keep visitors up to date with all the latest information. These will be scheduled to make sure users aren’t bombarded with information and they will have the option of opting out of the service.”
The county council is working with other partners across the county with the aim of facilitating WiFi roll out across Warwickshire’s main town centres.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of Warwickshire County Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, said: “The introduction of free and fast public access WiFi is about equipping our town centres with the technology infrastructure for the future.
The way we use our town centres is changing and we recognise that visitors to the town centre, be they shoppers, businesses or service users, want to browse the internet, use email and social media whilst they are going about their business.
By embracing this trend we can help to enhance the visitor experience to our town centres and hope that they will want to spend longer there, making our town centres more vibrant and economically viable.”
Karen Wild added that the scheme had also been given the backing of town centre businesses.
She said: “We carried out a survey of levy payers in August and 85 per cent of the replies said they would like the BID to invest in town-wide free access WiFi. It shows we are in tune with the needs of businesses in this digital age.”
The system will be installed by Midlands-based Elephant Wifi who have worked with the county council, Rugby Borough Council and Rugby First – the Business Improvement District – to enable free WiFi throughout Rugby town centre.