Service deliveryDigital Customer ServiceTendring Council develops leisure and tourism app

Tendring Council develops leisure and tourism app

Development will now begin on the app, which will focus on tourism events and leisure facilities

Tendring District Council (TDC) has revealed plans to develop a smartphone app to promote leisure and tourism within the district.

The idea has been in development for some time, before being proposed to Cabinet in February, and Cabinet agreed to delegate to officers a decision on whether or not to proceed with the project after further talks with app developers.

Now after positive talks with the project team about the scope of the app – including negotiating down the price for development – a decision has been made to go ahead with the initiative.

Development will now begin on the app, which will focus on tourism events and leisure facilities, such as the Clacton Airshow, Princes Theatre and TDC’s leisure centres.

TDC has appointed Amido to lead the project, while We Are Mobile First and Plan Alpha Systems will provide further technical expertise.

Cabinet had set aside £120,000 for the project, but development of the app will now cost just over £89,500, with £6,000 per year running and support costs.

Events are a crucial part in underpinning the local tourism economy, and visitors today almost expect digital technology to support such events – developing an app now means TDC will not fall behind the curve.

It is believed the app will help increase income to the council, for example through increased theatre ticket sales, leisure centre membership and enabling e-donations to the Clacton Airshow in our increasingly cashless society, though at this stage it is difficult to accurately predict the return on investment.

The app has been made possible through the council’s digital investment, which began in 2013, and this project is part of the second phase of that work.

Mick Skeels, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said this was an exciting project. “Smartphone usage continues to grow rapidly, with the Office of National Statistics reporting that 78% of adults use a mobile or smartphone to access the internet, and developing an app helps to keep Tendring District Council relevant in this mobile, digital age,” said Cllr Skeels.

“Although we have a fantastic leisure and tourism offer in Tendring – ranging from our wonderful Princes Theatre to the Clacton Airshow – we cannot sit on our laurels, and must always look at ways to get more people involved.”

“We hope that by developing this app we can better promote our leisure and tourism offer directly into people’s hands – particularly through the use of notifications.”

“As well as helping boost our own income, and therefore taking some of the pressure of government funding cuts off taxpayers, by promoting everything Tendring has to offer we also hope to support the wider economy, of which tourism is a dominant sector worth around £380m every year.”

The app will feature event schedules, timetables and guides for events which we hope will help all users to take full advantage of the entertainment on offer within Tendring.

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