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Dún Laoghaire Town in the finals of the .IE Digital Town Awards 2022

DigitalHQ were delighted to hear that our entry in the .IE

#DigitalTownAwards for Dún Laoghaire Town has been shortlisted in three categories.

Category 1 - DIGITAL EDUCATION - This category is for digital projects in the areas of education, training and development at all levels in the town.

The world is changing and people want a better work/life balance with access to new and emerging career opportunities, a better future for their kids, to do the right thing for the climate and for their community. At the same time localities want to be vibrant communities of people and businesses which observe the needs of the circular economy, where existing buildings are used to their full potential, where commutes are as short as possible and are great places to work, rest and play.

The European Union has stated its objective is to make this ‘Europe’s Digital Decade’ and yet many rural communities have not leveraged the power of digital to revitalise their locality and achieve the above objectives.

In December 2021 DigitalHQ announced the creation of the National centre for digitalisation of localities and their small businesses. A core goal of this national centre was to use the new DigitalHQ ‘Digital First Communities’ Academy to take the battle for the hearts and minds of people in rural localities to use digital growth to take control of their economic destiny for their future prosperity.

Category 2 - DIGITAL BUSINESS - This category is for projects that can demonstrate creation and implementation of digital strategies to promote businesses in the town.

A key goal when @Digital Dun Laoghaire started in 2016, as a local grassroots initiative, was to provide leadership and pathways for local small traditional businesses to leverage digital technologies. As the project evolved over the following years we saw the opportunity to enhance the business image for the town and increase footfall through digitalisation. Under DigitalHQ clg our town has becoming a test bed for what digital tools and frameworks work to enable localities to collaboratively attract investment, remote workers, home buyers, shoppers and visitors to their place. We call this framework ‘Digital First Communities’.

The belief that the prosperity of our towns and their communities of small businesses are inextricably linked inspires our work. The purpose of our ‘Digital First Communities’ Living Lab in Dún Laoghaire Town is to create and test programmes and frameworks of national significance on what digital tools and techniques work most effectively in enabling a town and its community of small businesses to thrive.

The key outcome of our work is to help create footfall with a high capture rate for local small businesses. We have designed our collaborative digital campaigns around the needs of the B2C and B2B business sectors in Dún Laoghaire with the intended impact being:

-Helping make local small business more sustainable in the face of Amazon/online shopping.

-Incentivise good practice by small businesses - getting Google business pages and social media accounts up.

-Create positive peer pressure amongst small businesses to get online.

-Deepen the character of our locality and build on the ‘loyalty to local’ that emerged during the pandemic.

Category 3 - Local Digital Hero - see our good news!

Also someone pointed out to us its coverage in the media:

"Smart Balbriggan’s Transition Year challenge is shortlisted in the Digital Education category, along with Dun Laoghaire Town’s entry “National Centre for Digitalisation of Localities and Their Small Businesses”, which is shortlisted in both the Digital Education and Digital Business categories for using digital tools and frameworks to enable localities to collaboratively attract investment, remote workers, home buyers, shoppers, and visitors. Eoin Costello of Dun Laoghaire Town is also shortlisted for Digital Local Hero."

The hard work our ultra small team of committed volunteers and remote workers have done for my home town of Dún Laoghaire over the past 6 years is yielding dividends. Thanks to everyone on our steering group and Board for their help and support, it was a real team effort!

Tune in for the finals on 8th June!


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