The Placeity concept is based around a team of collaborators who have joined forces to provide a comprehensive digital solution for places, with a direct benefit to the local community and businesses, as well as the wider local economy.
The team provides a collective industry experience to develop a solution that towns need right now as we enter the latter phases of the Covid-19 pandemic, and going forwards into an uncertain economic future.
During lockdown, the place-based approach proved to be a successful economic solution in two Scottish places, the city of Stirling and the town of Milngavie. This provided direct benefits to local businesses.
In Milngavie, the last four months have focused on the development of secure trading e-commerce websites for traditional high street retailers who did not already sell online. In addition, other businesses, which had trading websites, have received one-to-one coaching with Placeity collaborators to help improve their digital presence and reach.
Wendy Ross, the owner of Ruby Red Gifts and Driftwood Lifestyle in Milngavie, has been impressed by the results of two new business website. She said “When lockdown was announced, we closed our two retail businesses. We have now re-opened up with four businesses. The websites that were rapidly developed allowed us to continue selling our spring/summer stock to our existing customers and they generated some new customers, which we were very surprised about. I’ve learned so much about a digital world I knew very little about.”
The town’s main communications tool is Milngavie.co.uk, a domain name owned by the Milngavie Business Improvement District, which is powered by Placeity.
In late 2018, the part-time contract BID manager for Milngavie BID, Tony I’Anson, explained the concept to the BID board, which then made the decision to purchase the town’s domain name and use the code he had developed to implement the initial website structure. Stirling-based, he has more than 25 years of business and digital experience and has worked with hundreds of small businesses and many active and developing BIDs in Scotland.
This allowed the BID team to create and curate engaging content for Milngavie and to promote the local businesses and community groups. This has proved invaluable over the last four months, along with additional innovative video content and cycling video blogs created by Placeity collaborators.
The Milngavie BID received BID resilience funding to deliver the range of digital services provided by Placeity. All of the content can be found on Milngavie.co.uk and social media. This was only possible because the digital infrastructure was in place to build on when lockdown began.
Placeity is place-centred with a Places First ethos. It has been set up to rapidly expand the service for the benefit of other areas as a key driver of local economy. It can integrate all types of social media and news platforms, as well as third party emerging platforms.
Collaborators include a place manager, website developer, graphic designer, video production producer, motion graphic developer, social media specialist, e-commerce and high street retailers, SEO specialists and social media influencers.
The approach has also been launched this month on Stirling.co.uk, a 25-year-old domain for Stirling. It replaces an advertising-based business model. Further collaborations are being discussed with Stirling stakeholders to create more hyper-local content for the city.
Other towns have also approached Placeity based on the digital output achieved in Milngavie. The team of collaborators are passionate and professional about what they do – and keen to help anyone who cares about their town.