Posted: Wed 26th Apr 2023

Mold: Tech-driven ‘Smart Towns’ project aims to boost Welsh high streets

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 26th, 2023

Mold has become the first town in Flintshire to pilot the innovative Smart Towns project, funded by the Welsh Government and delivered by Menter Môn.

The project aims to show how technology and data can help regenerate Welsh high streets, with Flintshire County Council, Mold Town Council, and local Business Champion Richard Howells of The Olive Tree Deli working together to create an Action Plan for Mold.

As part of the pilot, the Welsh Government provided free footfall counting equipment, known as Cisco Meraki devices.

These wireless devices detect Wi-Fi enabled equipment to estimate the total number of people in a given area at a given time.

This data enables businesses to make more informed decisions and analyze the effects of events or interventions.

During the initial stages, it became clear that more equipment was needed to provide adequate coverage of Mold Town.

Flintshire County Council’s Regeneration Team successfully applied for additional funding from the Welsh Government’s “Transforming Towns” investment program.

This grant enabled the purchase of LoRaWan digital equipment and technical support for the installation.

Mold’s participation in the pilot project has allowed local authorities to learn about the technology’s benefits and challenges, with plans to roll out similar initiatives across other Flintshire towns.

Councillor David Healey, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economy at Flintshire County Council, praised the Smart Towns investment, saying it provides “the capability for future improvements” and the evidence to support bids for further investment.

Kiki Rees-Stavros, Project Officer for The Smart Towns Team, commended Mold for taking the initiative and collaborating with various groups to benefit the whole community.

Sensors have been installed throughout the town to measure footfall, as well as people counters at the historic Bailey Hill site to monitor the impact of redevelopment work.

Jo Lane, Business Regeneration Project Officer for Mold Town Council, highlighted the importance of collaborative working among all partners and expressed eagerness to see the positive actions taken with the data collected.

The new case studies can be viewed on YouTube and the smarttowns.cymru website.

For more information on Smart Towns, visit smarttowns.cymru or email [email protected].

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