Shops can use free wifi to target tourists
FREE wi-fi in Barnard Castle town centre will go live early next month, county chiefs have confirmed.
The wi-fi will cover from The Bowes Museum and along Newgate to the Market Cross. From there it will run south down to the bottom of The Bank and also right through Market Place, to Horsemarket and up Galgate.
Visitors can log on to the Connected Barnard Castle system via an online form or through social media and will be automatically re-connected on their return.
Funded by Durham County Council and Teesdale Area Action Partnership, the project is aimed at helping the high street to recover.
Teesdale county councillor Richard Bell, who has been calling for the scheme, said: “We hope it will attract visitors to the town, and give useful information about where they have come from, and where they visit and don’t visit. Increasing visitor spend is key to reviving Barney’s economy post-Covid.”
Durham County Council said information on footfall will be collected “anonymously”. The scheme will also provide another way for businesses to connect with customers, with new local apps being developed to promote special offers and encourage people to explore the town.
Kenny Walker, who runs Chocolate Fayre, said: “These days so many of us use our phones to navigate our way around new places, find recommendations for where to go for lunch, check opening times or share what we are up to on social media.
“Having free public wi-fi in the town centre will it make it easier for people to do this, which in turn will benefit local businesses, as most of us have our own websites and social media pages. After such a difficult 12 months, I really welcome this investment.”