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A locally sourced collaboration of businesses and individuals is at the heart of an innovative project that is offering a lifeline to a growing number of places in central Scotland.

The Placeity initiative was set up in May amid the uncertainty and disruption caused by Covid-19 lockdown and aims to provide a comprehensive digital solution for places.

Each place – and there are already 8 hyper-local locations – is provided with a digital platform, which can be utilised by each team of grassroots collaborators.

The digital platform allows each place to engage with local community, businesses and people and to better promote the now well-recognised “Scotland Loves Local” campaign.

Tony IAnson, contract BID manager for Milngavie, is the brainchild of Placeity. He said: “Human resources – locally sourced – are the vital asset at the heart of the Placeity model.

“Once we provide the Placeity 1.0 platform, each village or town can then engage with and promote local businesses, local news and local examples of innovation.

“It’s in this way that local people help themselves and have the ability to adapt during the pandemic. We believe Placeity is the key to enabling local economies to survive – and hopefully grow – during the on-going pandemic restrictions.”

Placeity has now been rolled out to 8 locations including Milngavie, Bearsden, Bishopbriggs, Dumbarton, Clydebank, Alexandria (the Vale), Stirling, and Dalkeith with another batch of towns coming online next month.

The Placeity collaborators usually comprise a team of freelance graphic designers, copywriters, web developers, motion video graphic artists, project managers, PRs and others with a professional skill provided at local level.

A recent example of a town that has utilised the Placeity platform is Dumbarton. Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce chose Placeity to deliver the localised version of “Scotland Loves Local” across the region.

The Chamber instigated the development of the campaign and application for The Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund.

Damon Scott, Chief Executive of Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “When the Chamber was developing our plans for the LovesLocal campaigns across five towns in Dunbartonshire we looked at a number of alternatives to create an effective local digital resource.

“Placeity offered the best mix including an understanding of local towns and places, an accessible and functional town centre website solution and delivery within a short timescale and within budget.

Placeity helped us to work very quickly with our partners and stakeholders to get buy-in from local businesses and communities and to start to create momentum for our Shop Local campaign.”

Placeity is also being used in Dalkeith, working with the local development trust, One Dalkeith.  Project lead Tom Donaldson said “The Placeity vision and approach aligns very well with our vision of ‘One Dalkeith’, where all groups and individuals work together for our town.

“We look forward to a long-term development of the ideas to be in a position to help and assist as many local businesses as we can in the area.

Across the Placeity powered platforms, there are now almost 500 businesses benefiting from the hyper-local approach to marketing and local collaborations. No businesses have been charged fees to participate and many more in each town are signing up to get involved. Placeity project over 1,000 local businesses to be listed by February to help people to #ThinkLocalFirst and  #ShopLocalOnline.

Phil Prentice, from Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said “A resolution to back local businesses need not just be a New Year fad, but one that we can stick to – one that makes a real difference to our town centre’s and high streets, protecting jobs and businesses.

“The work of Placeity developing their version of a digital High Street, aligned with the Scotland Loves Local campaign, is proving to be a local success story based on developing a solution that works for local businesses and local people.”

In response to the work being completed, Aileen Campbell MSP tweeted: “You guys are absolutely incredible – thank you for your commitment and innovation.” 🙌 🙌 💖 LINK HERE

Article published 28 Jan 2021 on Scotland’s Towns Partnership