Auchterarder is a pretty town in Perthshire, ideally situated between the gateway to the highlands and pathway to the South. Famous for having the longest main street in Scotland, proud host of the T in the Park festival and close to the world famous Gleneagles Hotel and its 3 golf courses.
Auchterarder Town is made up of a strong dynamic community, keen to harness the towns natural beauty, make the most of its central location and become the place for local residents, business owners and visitors to meet, dine, shop and share experiences.
To place itself firmly back on the tourist map Auchterarder Town Partnership used 21st century digital technology to overcome years of 20th century decline of their town.
Auchterarder, like many Scottish towns, keen to reenergize and regenerate the town centre and outlying neighborhood was hindered by very poor broadband accessibility.
Superfast broadband is viewed by most as a standard commodity today, like gas and electricity, but the majority of outlying towns like Auchterarder are neglected by traditional communication giants, unwilling to invest in outreach projects to deliver the vital service.
Without reliable, superfast broadband local businesses can’t function and grow. Locals choose to shop elsewhere in bigger towns, the community is slow to interact with the outside world and tourists drive passed.
It is increasingly difficult for small towns to maintain a community spirit.
Like many towns Auchterarder’s community was repeatedly disappointed by broken promises from big broadband providers and decided to take matters into their own hands to find an alternative solution.
A grass roots community led project headed up by the Auchterarder Community Partnership, keen to find a way to install superfast broadband and leap into the 21st century.
Supported by local business owners and Perth & Kinross Council, the Community Partnership sought external support and expert guidance from 802.
802 was selected because of a proven track record for delivering full connectivity with intelligent WiFi and a willingness to work in partnership to support, nurture and guide the community decision making.
the service from 802 Reach is incredibly fast and has positively impacted on how we do business
Suzanne, The Ruthven Gallery, Auchterarder
The beauty of the solution is the inbuilt sustainability of the project. As more users join investment costs are shared, the law of diminishing returns comes into play and profitability for every business involved increases.
The result was the rapid completion of a ground breaking initiative to install superfast broadband, provide full interactivity throughout the town, create a free digital e-commerce portal and deploy a free public WiFi zone practically overnight.
The quality of life for those living, working and visiting the town combined with the economic boost to the local businesses has re-energized the town centre.
The story has now extended beyond the local business owners. Auchterarder High School has become heavily involved in the project too.
Senior pupils, Heads of Staff, Auchterarder Community Partnership and 802 developed a training program recognised by the Scottish Government. Pupils develop practical knowledge, skills and hands on experience of commerce, marketing, IT and digital publication that opens up future employment opportunities.
The successful digital transformation of Auchterader town centre has created a vibrant high street at the heart of the community – a source of pride for all involved.
Evidence of success
I had 5 new clients come straight in of the street last week. It’s amazing! They had seen my digital ad on the street WiFi and decided “Ellie Roy Hair” was for them…
Ellie Roy, Ellie Roy Hair, Auchterarder
Evidence of success is not just anecdotal. Real data is continuously collected through the analytics tool on the digital portal.
Following launch on August 1, business owners and town decision makers gathered concrete evidence that 1,253 users logged onto Auchterarder’s Free WiFi in the first month.
In month 1 the email addresses gathered provided valuable marketing data for business owners:
- identified 876 new users
- profiled age, gender, likes & dislikes for tailored marketing and encouraged 377 return visitors
- now understand when, where and how long visitors spend in town centre, currently averaging 1hr 46 mins
- identified peak and slowest connection periods to effectively manage data usage and ensure a reliable uninterrupted service is delivered to consumers.
My Facebook likes from the past 2 years, doubled in 1 weekend…
Carol, Chocolate Gallery, Auchterarder
The rapid business growth measured in the first month, is rooted in the innovative digital e-commerce portal that local business owners access and use regularly to engage more and more with customers.
The scheme is easily rolled out across similar outlying towns all around the UK. As more and more towns become involved councils and the Government will access powerful raw data that will shape informed decision guaranteeing highly successful future town planning.
Get in touch
Contact Felix Gibson at email@example.com if you would like to transform your town into a success story like Auchterarder.