High Streets £8 Million Tech Boost

The latest initiative from the government to help stimulate UK high streets comes in the form of a competition run by the country’s innovation agency…

Science and Universities Minister, David Willetts, has announced the competition to be run by the Technology Strategy Board.

The competition seeks innovative solutions to help boost UK high streets by attracting shoppers through new approaches to everything from retail and services to logistics and traffic management.

Innovative solutions are being sought to better combine both physical and virtual shopping experiences, through "networking" the high street to data capture that boosts understanding and future directions of how Britain’s shopping areas can benefit and thrive. Real time information on parking is one area that the competition seems to be keen that entrants investigate.

The competition, Re-imagining the High Street, opens today with interested parties required to register by the 26th February with the deadline for entries being 5th March.

Up to £2 million is availbale for feasability studies and the remaining £6 million is for future phases.

David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, said of the competition:

"Technology plays a vital role in people’s everyday lives and has the ability to influence our movements and shopping habits. By developing innovations to regenerate the retail sector we will be able to breathe new life into the UK’s high streets."

"This competition will encourage exciting new developments that could change the way business is done across our high streets. Giving shoppers and businesses real time information that they can use to their advantage will make a real difference in helping to boost the UK economy."

Brandon Lewis, the High Streets Minister who said last year that fast food outlets were "vital" to the health of the high street, added:

"Britain’s shopping culture is changing with online shopping pushing town centres to evolve and exploit new technology to prosper and attract people to their local high street."

"This government is committed to supporting high streets and this competition will challenge them to come up with exciting and innovative ways to be at the forefront of change."

The competition is open now and entries need to be in by 26th February. Find out more at Re-imagining the High Street.

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