Cupar to become world’s first Digital Improvement District

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Businesses across Cupar have voted to back CuparNow and create the world’s first Digital Improvement District.

At this week’s count of the businesses and organisations who cast their votes more than 60 per cent gave their support for the project.

Alison Strachan, chair of the project’s steering group, expressed her “delight” at the result, saying: “We are absolutely thrilled that the vast majority of those voting have voted yes.

“And we’re delighted on all fronts as the 60 per cent by number equates to more than 75 per cent of the rateable value who voted. That’s an emphatic ‘yes’ in support of what has been done so far and, more importantly, what we will be delivering over the five-year term.”

Cupar was chosen as the demonstration project as a result of the town’s involvement in the Digital Towns Programme 2017-18.

Alison said: “ABCD – Cupar’s Business Association – championed the idea of the town becoming the pilot project. As a group of businesses, we’d spent many years looking at ways in which the town could best support businesses and shout about Cupar to a wider audience. The idea of a Digital Improvement District – delivering managed, integrated digital communication across multiple platforms – really appealed.”

The Scottish Government, Digital Scotland and Fife Council backed the 15-month demonstration phase with three-way seed corn fundng.

Since CuparNow launched it has built an engaged audience across digital channels that exceeds 11,000. Daily engagement, sharing of bespoke content and interaction with multiple audiences has ensured a reach of more than one million, with video being the key driver.

In the last 12 months, videos featuring the town’s businesses, events and community projects have clocked more than 300,000 views on Facebook alone.

Businesses, organisations, community partners, local charities, fund-raising initiatives, cultural and tourism projects, the town’s schools and college, environmental groups and health and social care partnerships have all benefitted from CuparNow’s delivery so far.

So what next for CuparNow? Alison said: “We have a number of exciting projects to announce after Christmas including digital workshops for the benefit of businesses and organisations who require advice and training on how to make the very most from their engagement on digital channels.”