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Remote access for community halls

A project to develop smart technology to enable online booking and secure access to community halls has been funded by Arwain Sir Benfro.

Arwain Sir Benfro – the Local Action Group (LAG) for Pembrokeshire, administered by PLANED have provided funding of £14,999 to software developers, SCL for their Integrated Remote Access and Booking System project.

This is funded through the LEADER programme, which is part of the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, Funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

James Moore, SCL said: “We spoke to a number of community halls in north Pembrokeshire, to discuss a pilot project which will produce open source software of benefit to all the halls in Pembrokeshire. The system we are proposing will combine online booking with smart locking using bespoke software to provide a fully integrated system.  This means if you are interested in booking, paying for, and gaining access to a community hall you can do so without the need for key holders to wait for you.

“We know 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. Our project will bring all these elements under the control of a single, integrated, simple to use system.”

PLANED Project Officer Buddig Meredith said:” It’s exciting to see such a practical project being funded and to see that if halls get internet access as a group they can make considerable cost savings.

“This technology can also be used for wider community benefit include churches, squash courts, gyms and community halls.”

PLANED, now celebrating its 30th year has helped communities in Pembrokeshire to access over £25m worth of funding during that time.

“Arwain Sir Benfro is currently supporting project ideas from local community groups, organisations and businesses. As the Local Action Group for Pembrokeshire, we bring together a mix of local community representatives, business, third sector, local authority partners.”

LEADER is supporting all kinds of activity: mentoring, training, feasibility studies or pilot projects that test an innovative new idea. It can also be used for projects that improve local skills, make better use of a local resource or realise the economic potential of part of the locality leading to a ‘new’ outcome or product.

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