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1 March 2024
Built Environment

Wrexham Borough Council Chooses the VZTA Smart Town Platform to Empower Independent Businesses and Invigorate the City Centre

Wrexham County Borough Council has chosen the revolutionary Welsh-based VZTA smart town platform, in its mission to empower local independent businesses, drive footfall to the high street, and energise local communities.

In an open tender that included competitive pitches from a number of major-name solutions, Wrexham CBC chose the award-winning VZTA platform – a leader in smart town ecosystems that is already transforming the high street and wider communities in Caerphilly CBC and Vale of Glamorgan CBC (with implementation completed or underway in communities that include Bargoed, Barry, Blackwood, Caerphilly, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major Penarth, Risca, Treorchy and Ystrad Mynach).

Nigel Williams, Lead member for Economy and Regeneration at Wrexham County Borough Council said

“I am delighted to see the launch of this new App on our journey to make Wrexham a smart city embracing the latest innovations and technology.

The VZTA Wrexham app is a virtual shop window for local businesses allowing them the opportunity to showcase their business, products and any special offers and promotions.With the current economic climate this is a difficult time for business and this will be another tool to help them. I would urge all local businesses to get themselves on the App and the population of Wrexham and beyond to download the App to help our local economy.”

Glynne Jones, the UK Government Director for Wales, applauded the placed-based approach that underpins the VZTA platform:

“The Wrexham award to VZTA shows that Valleys-based tech businesses can hold their own at the top table. Tech solutions often focus on what works for large and dense urban areas, but VZTA’s in-depth understanding of high streets – and research and innovation work with the Welsh Government – means that they bring an important perspective to the challenges facing our high streets and city centres. They’re as much ‘town’ as they are ‘tech’

World Heritage site Pontcysyllte Aqueduct early morning sunshine and mist Routes To the Sea project Images by Craig Colville photographer Copyright held by Denbighshire County council

David Evans, Smart Towns Manager for Wrexham CBC, praised the perfect fit demonstrated by the VZTA team and platform:

“VZTA is the ideal solution for us, on so many levels. It’s more than a digital high street – it’s an ecosystem that connects and empowers our businesses, our communities and us as a local authority. It’s the perfect fit for our vision to re-energise the City of Wrexham and our whole Borough – through a platform that’s affordable and scalable, creating a sense of place and making sure that no community gets left behind.

“In awarding this key contract, we were hugely impressed by the deep understanding of our towns and communities exhibited by the VZTA team. They are expert at covering the ground, engaging with businesses, connecting with leaders and understanding the unique needs of specific locations. That’s a critical advantage and it gives us a firm foundation to build from.”

Vicky Mann, CEO of Near Me Now and the VZTA platform, expressed her delight at partnering with the largest Borough Council in North Wales:

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Wrexham CBC has chosen to partner with the VZTA ecosystem. The tender saw us face some very stiff competition from major software service providers, so this contract award is testimony to our whole approach – and the early faith shown in us by Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Government, who funded the original innovation into meeting the digital needs of modern Wales through the Better Lives Closer to Home SBRI Challenge Fund.

“The fact that we’re trusted by government and councils – and able to work inclusively with a wide range of partners – shows that Wales can take the lead in connecting business, communities and local authorities.”

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