Love Oor Lang Toun has welcomed news of a £20,000 funding boost to build better online services for the town centre.
Fife Council successfully bid for money for four town centres in Fife, including Kirkcaldy, from the Towns and BIDS Resilience Fund, administered by Scotland’s Towns Partnership.
Funding is provided to local operators – in Kirkcaldy’s case Love Oor Lang Toun – to support the delivery of COVID-19 resilience and recovery projects.
The main focus for the project funding will be to continue to develop Kirkcaldy’s online resilience via ShopAppy Kirkcaldy, improve the digital infrastructure to support businesses and town centre users and encourage footfall via marketing campaigns for the town.
What will the funding be used for?
As well as re-introducing Wi-Fi for the town centre and putting measures in place in locations where the signal needs an extra boost, money will be used to help businesses via marketing &promoting the town at a local, regional and national level.
Cara Forrester of the Love Oor Lang Toun group said: “This funding is fantastic and we would like to thank everyone who worked hard to secure it for Kirkcaldy.”
“Part of supporting the town centre is about recognising the challenges faced and finding ways to solve them quickly.
“Addressing the Wi-Fi in the town centre and boosting signal “blackspots” will help augment online methods and services which are an essential part of easing the town out of lockdown and beyond.
“As well as meeting the expectations of shoppers and visitors who use devices and phones as part of their experience, it’s important to recognise the huge range of benefits from something simple like better Wi-Fi.
“Better online connectivity is essential for a 21st Century Town Centre.
It helps businesses develop effective services including ordering and payment and enables table to till transactions for the food and drink sector.
“Using digital pre-ordering of goods and services can reduce physical queues, click and collect options will bring people back into the town centre shops and enable us to look at pop up offers, information and safety messages.
“All of this work will also dovetail and complement the online shopping platform ShopAppy, introduced in May.
“This is about ensuring our technology works for us and our town, helps us get people back safely and doesn’t hinder people’s town centre experience. The online resources will enhance what businesses can offer in our town and help us build back better.”
ShopAppy Kirkcaldy was Love Oor Lang Toun’s first project, launched to limit the effect of COVID 19 on businesses in Kirkcaldy and ensure business had a quick and easy way to trade online.
Kirkcaldy is the first place in Scotland to use the multi-award-winning platform, which is partnered with Visa.
The pilot project, which was funded by Fife Council and is free for Kirkcaldy businesses until the end of March 2021, brings shops together so customers can browse and buy from local businesses in one online place.
The collective online offer can remind people what is in the town encouraging visits via click and collect and securing sales for businesses outwith normal trading hours.
ShopAppy Kirkcaldy businesses are also eligible for a small grant of £250, thanks to the support of Fife Business Gateway’s ShopAppy Kirkcaldy Transition to Trade Online fund, developed to support those signing up with costs including packaging, delivery, postage or promotion.
As lockdown restrictions are eased, businesses taking part can use the ShopAppy Kirkcaldy platform to encourage customers to click and collect from their premises. Cafes, bars and restaurants also have the option of using ShopAppy Kirkcaldy’s book a seat or table and can also act as a pre-order function too.
Cara added: “We’re looking at various options including digital lockers, partnering with local businesses to offer collection points in premises or having a general collection point for goods, perhaps which could be available outwith normal working hours.
“We have to do further research into the most cost effective and right option for Kirkcaldy on this but are doing so now so we can get moving quickly.”
Love Oor Lang Toun will also produce branded marketing materials and support packs for business, strengthen information through web and social media and host virtual meetings to continue to involve all our businesses and the community in future plans.