Europe’s first innovative Beach Check app, spearheaded by BCP Council, will be rolled out nationally to support other towns and cities with crowd management on their beaches.
Developed in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole by BCP Council, the Beach Check app was launched last year in response to visitor numbers in the region.
BCP Council has now been awarded an additional £40,000, through the MHCLG Local Digital Fund and invited to further develop and expand the innovative Beach Check app to other UK towns and cities.
Councillor Philip Broadhead, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Economy and Strategic Planning and Deputy Leader, BCP Council, said; “We are delighted that our pioneering efforts in digital technology are contributing to our country’s efforts to tackle some of the key issues faced beyond the pandemic, in particular the use of technology to address urban challenges such as overcrowding.
“Our Beach Check app was born from our exciting Smart Place ecosystem, a programme that sets us apart, and firmly cements our reputation as leaders in innovative technology. Collaboration is at the centre of what we do and our message to investors across the world is that if you share our vision of an open culture and co-creation, then this is the place for you. We are the coastline of opportunity: a place brimming with prosperity, prospects, positivity and pride.”
The BCP Council Beach Check app gives residents and visitors real-time updates on the crowding status of local beaches in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.Downloaded by nearly 40,000 people last year, the app played a key role in helping people plan their visit to the region, as well as provide the council and partners with data to manage the resort.
Its success attracted interest from other local authorities and coastal destination management organisations, as well as VisitBritain, who are now asking to roll out the product and service in their areas.
As a priority the council will launch the Beach Check App again locally this Spring before being developed and introduced to other towns and cities.
Councillor Mohan Iyengar, BCP Council’s Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said:
“We are preparing for a good many visitors this summer as lockdown is eased and people can travel. The app will be valuable, helping people to make good choices about where to be – avoiding the busiest spots, staying distanced and being safe. The future looks particularly good once we can use the app to potentially signpost people to different events and attractions in our Festival Coast Live! based on inputs they have made. All in all, it’s an aid to staying safe, building confidence and really boosting our tourism business for everyone involved.”
The new national Beach Check app will be developed by BCP Council in partnership with smarter systems experts at Xpertnest, who will be assisting with the high-tech aspects of its development. The National Coastal Tourism Academy will also be working in partnership with the council, helping to build relationships with other Local Authorities and assisting with the management and roll out of the app. They encourage authorities that may be interested in the app to get in touch with them direct.
For more information on the project, please visit: localdigital.gov.uk/funded-project/beach-check-app