Some have called it Dom Jolly’s missing phone, others have called it a touch screen urinal, others have called it the future of Ross tourism—but whatever it is, after months of waiting, the new digital noticeboard in the town centre has been switched on.
Working alongside ultra-fast internet provider ZYBRE Broadband, Fibre Heroes supported the Ross-on-Wye Town Council to install and connect the equipment that will bring Ross-on-Wye’s tourism industry into the digital age.
The “digital tourist information points” will provide an instantaneous and direct Tourist Information Service profiling businesses, services and activities available in and around Ross-on-Wye.
Future plans include extra use of the screens to bring news announcements, local event showcases, and spotlight the unique features of Ross-on-Wye.
Mayor Cllr Ed O’Driscoll commented: “I am delighted to see Ross-on-Wye’s first digital tourist information points finally in place. We’re leading the way in Herefordshire developing vitally important tourism infrastructure. Maximising tourism is key to the survival of market towns so the visitor experience is critical. We need to make as much information available as we can to ensure our businesses and retailers have the exposure they need. They must be successful if our town is going to thrive.
“On behalf of Ross-on-Wye Town Council and all my fellow councillors I’d like to extend my thanks to Fibre Heroes, Western Power Distribution and ZYBRE Broadband for their support and extremely generous contributions to this initiative. I’d also like to personally thank the team at the Town Council for their great work over the last two years that’s enabled us to make this happen.”
The hardware—which can be found on the corner by Coffee #1, and the other by the library—was erected in the town late last year and has since received a mixed response.
Phil Wallace said: “Give it six months before someone drives into it, or New Year’s Eve when someone climbs it like the tree.”
Charlotte Greenman said the sign is: “Too modern a look for a historic town. I agree with the principle of it, but it’s not in-keeping with the market place.”
Andy Hiley commented that: “Dom Jolly has lost his phone,” referencing Channel 4 show Trigger Happy TV (2000).
Keeping her opinion reserved Carol Curless commented: “It looks very smart but let’s see what its use will be like when switched on.”
Whilst some have raised concerns about the cost of the board, it’s worth noting that this project is not funded by council tax, but from a grant from the “Great Places to Visit Fund”, which is money provided by the UK government through Herefordshire Council; this also includes the installation of the wall mounted digital screen outside Ross Library on Cantilupe Road which is due to be installed soon.
The cost of installing the two digital screens is £20,694 including the ground works, power supply and broadband connection, which has all been paid for by the central government grant and services provided by Fibre Heroes, Western Power Distribution, and Air Broadband.