Our customer was a local authority who was making an application for funding from the Future High Streets Fund in order to revitalise the local town centre.
The business case considered all aspects of the application, including pedestrianisation, required construction and Smart Town/City opportunities.
A key component that runs throughout each element of the bid, is the aspect of connectivity. This will inform what is possible from a digital infrastructure perspective. The council recognised the need for specialist advice to ensure this component was fully integrated within the other elements of the bid.
They chose the Bloom marketplace to source a specialist consultant to match their bespoke requirements. Bloom provided a streamlined and simplified procurement process which enabled the council to appoint Farrpoint within a necessary timescale in order to meet their objectives. FarrPoint provided industry-leading advice from consultants with a proven track record in delivering connectivity strategies to local authorities.
High streets across the UK are facing significant challenges to survive. Declining footfall has led to retail units being left vacant and local people losing jobs. In order to address this, the UK Central Government’s Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government set-up the “Future High Streets Fund” to help sustainably regenerate town centres.
The council was making an application for funding from the Future High Streets Fund to revitalise the local town centre. In order to receive funding, the council had to demonstrate how they could build on their existing digital infrastructure.
Increasingly, constituents and visitors expect to be able to connect. Whether this is to check the time of the next bus or to catch up on emails. The expectation is that people should be as well connected in the town centre as they would be in their home or office. They had identified the opportunity to bring together transport and leisure to promote activities and attractions. To enable footfall and spend to be captured and retained within the town centre.
The council engaged with FarrPoint to provide an independent assessment of the existing connectivity infrastructure within their town centre and to deliver an options appraisal on how future-proofed digital infrastructure could not only elevate but also reinvigorate the town centre as a thriving social and community hub. FarrPoint reviewed:
FarrPoint provided expert industry-leading advice from consultants with a proven track record in delivering connectivity strategies to local authorities. As an independent organisation, all advice provided was supplier and product agnostic. In addition to the initial project scope, FarrPoint also provided an assessment of the mobile coverage landscape, which delivered additional value.
FarrPoint’s strategic recommendations were included within the council’s “Future High Streets” funding application. The information also advised other areas of the documentation such as the development plans for community-centric designs.
Through FarrPoint’s investigation into existing infrastructure, it was quickly apparent that Ultrafast Broadband was widely available within the town centre. However, this is predominantly intended for residential use, with inherent limitations on upload speed which could limit suitability for business use.
Fibre-to-the-Premises coverage was practically non-existent in the areas town centre. Reinforcing the need for fibre to play a prominent role in the councilʼs digital strategy. FarrPoint also advised on the potential applications of the technology and how it could enhance public services as well as constituent and visitor experiences in the area, including:
Connectivity is important. It drives business and society, bringing communities and commerce together. That's why we use our insight and experience to connect people and business.