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Digital Towns (Flintshire)

Why Do We Need Digital Towns Investment?

Flintshire County Council wants to revitalise our local town centres. The aim is to enable businesses to plan projects which lead to economic growth, as well as helping them make the best use of digital technology.

Our town and city centres face many challenges, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic – to ensure that our towns not only survive but also thrive, we need to re-invent and reinvigorate them into places where people want to spend their time.

With Welsh Government Transforming towns (Digital Towns) funding, we have been able to provide free footfall counting equipment to Flintshire, to help assess the current levels of shoppers and visitors in our town centres, and identify ways in which to increase the spend, and the length of time, which people spend in our towns.

Transforming Towns is a Welsh Government programme providing funding to town centre regeneration in Wales. Town and city centres are an essential and personal part of Welsh heritage and community, and the Transforming Towns programme is dedicated to serving and connecting the people who live, work, learn and spend leisure time in them.

The existing footfall counters in Flintshire are sparse, and data is only available on a 6 monthly basis. Without accurate up-to-date information, it is difficult to make ‘real time’ decisions. The new footfall counters will provide data on a regular basis, helping towns to make the most of trends and seasonal demands, and create a better shopping experience.

What equipment will be installed?

There are two types of technology:

Cisco Meraki footfall counters, which use anonymous data to provide an overview of the most popular areas and times in our towns.There is a short Youtube video on the free Cisco Meraki ‘footfall’ counters, which covers the impact of using the counters elsewhere in Wales:

LoRaWan technology is a low power method of covering a wide area using radio waves to send data from sensors to the internet. Sensors will measure footfall as part of the towns project. Trial sensors will also be installed to test out monitoring air quality, the moisture around plants, litter bins levels and other types. This will allow the Council to investigate the potential of these technologies.

Mold is using two types of technologies (Cisco Meraki and LoRaWan), the other towns are using only one (LoRaWaN).

These are NOT 5G devices. They operate either though WiFi similar to domestic equipment or through low powered radio waves similar to the old analogue television signal.

Digital Towns Funding

‘Digital Towns’ funding has been secured from Welsh Government Transforming Towns Digital Towns Funding, to develop a plan using technology across towns in Flintshire. Mold was also provided with free Cisco Meraki sensors by Welsh Government.

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