O2 Digital Communities in St Helens

O2 and St Helens council will offer digital software and training for local businesses and residents, in a three-month pilot.

The Digital Communities programme of support, events and grants could become a “blueprint” for the rest of Britain, with technology seen as a means of creating more sustainable high streets.

Ben Dowd, O2 business director, said: “This pilot came out of our work on the government’s digital high streets advisory board. It’s about improving digital skills to make the high street sustainable – you have to be online as a business because customers expect it”.

Joanna Jenna, director of Bartons Pickles, a St Helens family firm on the pilot, said: “Our customers expect us to have our figures at our fingertips in meetings. We have to call the office to have someone look through the files, but now it will be like carrying the office with us using a shared drive and a tablet.”

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