Stirling’s Business Improvement District (Go Forth) and Stirling Council have joined forces to launch a free Wi-Fi service covering the entire city centre.
Part-funded by a Council grant of £47,000, and a further £10,000 secured from the Scottish Government’s Regional Recovery Fund, the move marks further local investment in internet connectivity and digital transformation.
It also sees Go Forth Stirling achieve one of the central goals set out in the BID’s original five-year business plan.
The initiative has been hailed as a huge achievement by Go Forth Stirling Project Director Danielle McRorie-Smith who said it will provide fundamental support to Stirling businesses.
Ms McRorie-Smith said: “We’re delighted to be launching this project with our partners as we welcome city centre visitors to shop and take advantage of the wide range of great cafés and restaurants Stirling has to offer.
“Free city centre Wi-Fi is a huge achievement which has taken a lot of planning and organisation with a number of contractors, landlords and authorities putting their weight behind it and I’d like to thank all those involved.
“Go Forth Stirling is committed to promoting Stirling as a Digital City and with a free Wi-Fi network for the public, visitors to Stirling’s city centre no longer need to worry about running out of data when shopping locally.”
Residents and visitors can now access the service via their smartphone or other device.
Covering the outside areas across the city centre BID zone from Dumbarton Road to the Goosecroft Bus station – and a huge range of shopping and visitor attractions, from Thistles to The Stirling Arcade and everything in between, the service is aimed at increasing city centre footfall as well as dwell time.
There are also plans to expand the Wi-Fi to further areas outwith the city centre in the coming months.
Convener of Stirling Council’s Finance and Economy Committee, Cllr Margaret Brisley said: “Stirling Council continues to invest in the city centre to ensure it is an attractive destination for residents, businesses and visitors alike.
“The introduction of free Wi-Fi is just one element of significant planned investment in and around the city centre over the next few years to support the city and its businesses to recover and flourish.”
Vice Convener, Cllr Alison Lauriesaid: “Stirling has a reputation as a great digital space, as well as a great physical space to visit and do business, and providing digital infrastructure and connectivity is a vital part of the Council’s plans to attract investment and consolidate projects already under way.
“As we continue to consider the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the economy, this project will play a vital role in connecting communities, businesses and residents like never before, helping them emerge stronger as part of our thriving city centre.”
(Cover photo from left: Jitka Fleglova, Stirling BID, Cllr Margaret Brisley of Stirling Council and Danielle McRorie- Smith, Stirling BID)