Scotland Loves Local Digital Town Award
Winner: Scottish Tech Army, East Lothian
Digital innovation in the drive for people to choose local and back businesses across East Lothian has been recognised for its impact and reach.
SOLE (Supporting Our Local Community) was named winner of the Digital Towns category, sponsored by Commsworld and Miconex.
Judges heard how the place-based app and website had provided a platform for local businesses to trade online, reaching thousands of people.
Led by social enterprise Scottish Tech Army, with support from the UK Community Renewal Fund and East Lothian Council, the app has been rolled out in six partnership communities – Dunbar and East Linton, Fa’side, Haddington, Musselburgh, North Berwick and Preston/Seton/Gosford.
Kirsty McIntosh, of Scottish Tech Army, said: “This is brilliant recognition of all of the hard work that the team on SOLE has done in East Lothian. We’re very grateful to East Lothian Council for all their support.”
SOLE provides access to an active community of digitally-engaged residents, allowing businesses to showcase products and offers. For those that are not already trading online, it offers the easiest route to build their digital presence with no up-front investment required.
Its rollout in East Lothian has been supported by community engagement and customer success teams, with a full suite of online resources. Businesses and groups have been encouraged and supported to get onto the platform, claim their profiles, set up shops, booking capabilities and promote events.
The initiative’s award nomination stated: “On the platform, you’ll find more than 750 local businesses, community groups and places of interest registered and visible.
“With more than 2,100 app downloads and registered users on the platform, local engagement has been very high. Now that these businesses have a digital presence, we will be working with them to encourage greater adoption of some of the platform’s features as they become more confident with it, helping them to generate new business and reach people in their communities that might otherwise be unaware of their offer.”
Energise Galashiels Trust and South Lanarkshire Council – for its work in Bothwell, Strathaven, Stonehouse and Douglas – were the runners-up in category,.
Runners - Up
South Lanarkshire Council (Inside-out App)