Three Croydon communities are benefiting from a pilot of new, innovative smart technology, encouraging people back to their local high streets.
Croydon Council and local company Loqiva have partnered to develop three individual Digital Town Hub apps as part of the £4 million South London InnOvate Project to generate economic growth and help residents live better, healthier lives.
The three free apps are; Love South Norwood, In Purley and We Are Thornton Heath, each bringing the best of the local community straight to phones, providing a convenient hub for local news, businesses, events and offers.
As Croydon continues to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, these tie directly into the council’s Love Croydon, shop local campaign to boost the economy in a safe and sustainable way. Whether residents are looking to refamiliarise themselves with local shops or discover something new, the apps have options for all right on their own doorsteps.
Croydon’s Digital Town Hubs can also help residents explore local heritage through audio tours, express their views in short surveys, report local issues and access local transport information.
The council and Loqiva have been working with local organisations and businesses across South Norwood, Purley and Thornton Heath, getting them signed up to their free one-year membership and giving them access to the useful data that the hubs provide about local footfall, helping them to better target promotions via the apps.
One local business already using the app is Lucinda’s in Purley. Mary Coughlan, founder of Lucinda’s, said: “We love styling ladies locally with the latest fashion and have been for over 37 years. While we’re a well-established business, we’re always looking to attract new customers.”
“The In Purley smartphone app allows us to do this in an easy and intuitive way, connecting directly to residents with offers and in-app messaging.”
Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed, cabinet member for Communities, Safety and Business Recovery, said:
“We’re pleased to see residents return to shops and venues across Croydon, but recognise that the local economy could use a helping hand. There is so much on offer in our communities and the Digital Town Hubs provide an easy way for residents to reconnect to their local area and explore businesses, events and more.
We have plans to integrate the hubs into a variety of other local projects this year and hope everyone in these areas will download and enjoy the apps.”