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History

History image Developing a bid for funding...

In 2000, Wiltshire and Swindon successfully bid for 1.2M of funding under the Government Pathfinder scheme. The project was one of 25 chosen by the Government to develop better, more accessible information and services by local government to the community, by harnessing the benefits of new technology. A number of projects were promoted under this umbrella including 46k for the South Wiltshire Community Web (SWCW) project.

Community Planning & the Community Web

One of the themes of Wiltshire and Swindon Pathfinder (WSP) was 'Improving Community Access.' In order to develop projects that met the needs of local communities, local community plan teams across the County were asked to submit bids for funding. The project submitted by the South Wiltshire Community Planning Team was aimed at giving local people, groups and organisations the opportunity to build and maintain web sites free of charge. The idea for the South Wiltshire Community Web originally developed from a series of community workshops held across South Wiltshire in 2001. It became obvious that very many voluntary groups, clubs and not for profit organisations were already operating very effectively throughout South Wiltshire. Many of these groups provide services and activities that have a direct impact on the wellbeing of the area. However, many local people claimed to be unaware of the services and community resources available to them. The Community Web will help to raise awareness of, and improve access to these services.

Involving the Community

A detailed specification was drawn up for the web site with the help of a group of community volunteers including parish and District councillors. The groups met to discuss what sort of information should be available on the community web, how the site should be managed and policed and agreed principles that would underpin its operation - including sponsorship and advertsiing.

Contracts & Partnership

Cravenplan computers based in Swallowcliffe, South Wiltshire won the contract to develop the site in Febraury 2002. The contract with the Company ensured that the Company and the Project Sponsor, Salisbury District Council retained an equal stake in the community web software - equally, each had a stake in its success. The work continued with final beta testing completed in the early Autumn using the Group of volunteers that had initially helped set the specification

The site finally went live for final testing on Friday 11th October prior to its official public launch in November.