Following extensive consultation with a number of Community halls in north Pembrokeshire, SCL wish to work with them to conduct a pilot which will produce open source software of benefit to all the halls in Pembrokeshire. The proposed system will combine online booking with smart locking using bespoke software to provide a fully integrated system allowing interested parties to book, and possibly pay for, access to secure premises without any need for keyholders or manual intervention. There are bespoke systems which can provide access codes but they do not integrate with website booking calendars and are very expensive to buy into. The project proposal’s innovation is to bring all these elements under the control of a single, integrated, simple to use system.
One outcome of the initial consultation was that there was consensus amongst the halls that if they purchased Internet connectivity as a group they could make considerable cost savings. Places where this technology could be used for community benefit include churches, squash courts, gyms and community halls. However, focussing on community halls for this pilot study and adding home-automation capabilities into the halls and community centres of Pembrokeshire will have many longer term benefits.
The main innovation was achieved the a generic API, with the ability to monitor and control proprietary smart devices without having to use manufacturers’ bespoke apps. This enabled a second innovation, an intuitive and highly visible app tailored to the domain of the stakeholders (ie: community halls in Pembrokeshire). Although only a concept/pilot version of the app has been produced it has proof-of-concept features implemented, which has allowed the exploration of producing a full online booking system and the extension of the management system’s capabilities.
”Making the halls generally more accessible and giving the halls access to broadband will mean more young people and other groups can use the halls and potentially participate in activities thereby improving social inclusion at the same time as improving hall managers’ digital skills .”
We gained a lot of new knowledge about the rapidly-evolving field of smart devices which will be invaluable moving forward – both in general and in particular if we can continue to develop the system into a viable product.
Arwain Sir Benfro and the LEADER Programme concluded in December 2021 once all projects were completed and funding exhausted. There is now no dedicated support upon the completion of the LEADER Programme in Pembrokeshire. Should you have any queries, PLANED as the previous administrators, may be able to assist, or similarly for wider questions on the LEADER Programme in Wales, please contact the Wales European Funding Office (WEFO).