Developing a Website
It's no longer an option – you must have a regularly updated website for your town centre. Building a 'bricks and clicks' town centre means having a great local offer on the ground, but being able to interact and explore this offer online at any time. This could include event programmes, videos and images of previous events, business listings (or even better, profiles for your local businesses to help bring their personalities to life), downloadable maps and transport information.
A website can be used by local people as well as potential and actual visitors, and really extends your communications reach. While websites can be expensive, there are tools out there that allow you to build town centre blogs for free. You could consider asking your local partnership members to contribute to the costs of building and maintaining a website, or by offering advertising links.
Your town centre website can also be used to develop a contact database by asking people to sign up to emailed newsletters, access your twitter feed or enter competitions.
Once a website is up and running it is important to keep it fresh – don't have your Christmas events on there in January for example, as it just makes your town centre look uncared for. You may want to consider more advanced options on your website, such as click and collect, or integrating ‘Near Field Communication (NFC)’ tags around the area to link directly to your website.