Event to focus on technology innovation on Welsh high streets

Retail marketing and technology experts will take part in an event in Pontypridd, Wales, this week, giving representatives from towns up and down the country an opportunity to understand how innovative thinking can reshape their communities.

Hosted by regeneration company Revive & Thrive, which over the last few years has been developing a toolkit of technological and non-technological solutions to help improve high streets, the Wales Town Centres event will discuss the benefits of a more connected country.

The day will begin with an interactive workshop delivered by the Dan Gipple, CEO of community change management organisation Reward Your World. The focus of the presentation will be on how engagement with non-retail activities such as transport, health, employment and volunteering can bring benefits to the high street.

Other features of the day will include insight from Jeremy Rucker of City Dressing – a company that creates virtual shop windows – as well as commentary from IVTS's Simon Turnock, who will describe how click & collect can play a central role in the town centre's future.

A statement on the Revive & Thrive websites said: "If your profession involves supporting town or city centres or communities in Wales or if you are a passionate and active resident involved in delivering projects where you live, this free event is for you."

Wales Town Centres will be held on Wednesday 14 May at Pontypridd Municipal Building, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd CF37 2DP. The proceedings are scheduled to run from 10.30-16.00.

Interested parties can contact Revive & Thrive founder Mark Barnes at mark@reviveandthrive.co.uk, with their name, address, organisation they are representing (if applicable) and phone number.

Revive & Thrive recently awarded north-west-based Wyre Council with the first prize in a UK-wide competition to encourage towns and cities to think innovatively in the name of regeneration.

The local authority picked up a package of business and marketing support worth £191,000, which will be directed towards boosting the prospects of four of its town centres. The council is now spending six months working with retail and marketing experts, making use of a range of technology-led tools and training schemes.

Over 100 towns and cities entered the competition in the summer of 2013, and the winner was announced at RBTE 2014, in front of a packed audience at the Dell Champagne Bar at London's Earls Court.