Inverclyde Council has awarded a £185,000 contract to pave the way for free public Wi-Fi in Greenock creating one of Scotland’s first Smart Towns.
The investment is part of a £1.9million package of funding to support regeneration in the town centre.
Depute Council Leader and Chair of the Greenock Regeneration Forum Councillor Jim Clocherty said: “This is an ambitious and innovative project which will deliver a digital step-change for the town centre to support other projects including the expansion of Greenock Ocean Terminal and the regeneration of West Blackhall Street.
“The new system will address a number of key strategic priorities including improving digital inclusion and participation, regenerating the town centre, stimulating employment, economic growth, tackling poverty and cementing Inverclyde’s position as the Marine Leisure Capital of Scotland.”
Capita has been awarded a £185,000 contract to develop Smart Town connectivity by Inverclyde Council on behalf of the Greenock Town Centre Regeneration Forum.
Working closely with Capita, Inverclyde Council’s delivery agent Riverside Inverclyde will design and deliver a leading-edge, secure and fully managed wireless solution.
Fiona Maguire, Chief Executive of Riverside Inverclyde said: “We are delighted to support the digital transformation strategy for the area through the delivery of Smart Town technology for Greenock town centre.
“Free Wi-Fi was one of the initial outcomes from the Greenock town centre Charrette process and is just one of many digital opportunities available to us as a result of the installation of this exciting digital infrastructure.”
Inverclyde Council awarded the contract to Capita through the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) for the supply and delivery of the Public Access Wi-Fi platform in Greenock until 2023.
The system which utilises Cisco Meraki technology has been trialled previously in other Smart City Frameworks such as Belfast, Manchester and San Francisco.
Joe Hemming, Executive Officer, Capita IT and Networks said: “Internet access is fast becoming an essential commodity. Making this freely available in public spaces can make a fundamental difference to citizens, be it students learning, families accessing childcare support or people finding jobs or managing their everyday finances via online banking. We are proud to be supporting this work through SWAN.”
The Public Wi-Fi service was identified as a priority project in the 2016 Town Centre Charrette Report and will be capable of extending into additional areas to deliver a seamless user experience for residents and visitors from Greenock Ocean Terminal.
The Smart Greenock project started in July 2018 and is expected to be in installed by the end of autumn 2018. The £185k is part of a wider £1.9 Million provided by Inverclyde Council to support regeneration across Greenock town centre.
The Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) is one of the most significant single public sector ICT initiatives ever undertaken in Scotland. The programme was set up to establish a single shared network and common ICT infrastructure across Scotland’s entire public sector.