Smart towns: Digital Improvement Pilot for Cupar

Rachel BlairThe Scottish Government has announced that the town of Cupar, Fife will be Scotland’s first Digital Improvement District. The scheme will act as a trial for future ‘smart town’ models across Scotland. Run through a collaboration of a number of organisations including Scotland’s Towns Partnerships and Fife Council, it will provide digital skills support, an online brand for the town and WiFi for the town centre.

Michael Matheson, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity spoke of the opportunities the pilot could bring to the town. He suggested the possibility of technology addressing traffic flows, lighting, air quality, flooding, and providing better business intelligence.

An online brand for the town may provide space for businesses to grow their community presence. Free WiFi for the town centre could mean an increase in engagement with customers on social media. As technology advances further and consumer behaviours change, investment in digital improvement could bring a variety of benefits to small towns. It will be interesting to follow the progress of the project and opportunities it may bring to local charity retailers.

Rachel Blair
Public Affairs and Communications Officer (Scotland)
Charity Retail Association