Plans to provide gigabit broadband to public buildings and businesses across Stirling, will reinforce the city’s ambition to become a progressive global tech-hub, according to tech PR agency Spreckley. The move will provide the necessary infrastructure to organisations looking to develop products, grow their business and collaborate with peers and academia, the firm said.

After the success of the City Deal, which saw the a £200m investment into key projects, including the creation of a Digital District, Stirling has followed this up with the announcement that it is set to become Scotland’s fourth ‘gigabit city’. This is after technology infrastructure provider CityFibre confirmed a £1.7m deal with Stirling Council and MLL Telecoms last week.

The scheme will provide gigabit broadband to public buildings and businesses across the city. Construction will begin in June 2017 on the first phase of the new fibre infrastructure, with the initial development phase expected to take 14 months and deliver 20km of infrastructure from Bannockburn to the Stirling Agricultural Centre. The announcement reinforces Stirling’s desire to become a truly connected city, able to support the most demanding connectivity requirements.

Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has shown digital transformation is increasingly coming to the forefront of senior management’s agenda with an estimated 72 per cent of UK organisations expected to roll out a digital transformation strategy within the next 15 months.

Nick Bird, account director for Spreckley in Scotland states that firms undertaking a digital transformation will need to have confidence in the connectivity and infrastructure surrounding them. He believes that Stirling’s ability to now provide gigabit broadband

combined with on-going projects within the Digital District will likely see the city become a destination of choice for young, progressive firms:

“The City Deal investment has widely been described as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity for Stirling and the announcement that the city is to soon benefit from gigabit broadband, is arguably the first steps in it becoming a truly connected city.

“Increasingly, as digital transformation discussions become more prominent at board-level, organisations will be looking to implement strategies to bring about change that can support new ways of doing business. Integral to this process is having confidence in your infrastructure. Not only will this announcement make Stirling’s existing business occupants more efficient and competitive, but importantly, it will also encourage new firms into the city centre.

“Stirling already benefits from solid foundations including an excellent geographical position with easy access to other cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, a continual flow of graduates that are educated to both a degree and Master level within core digital tech subjects, as well as access to a talented workforce skilled in qualifications above the national average. The creation of the Digital District, which is now supported with leading connectivity capabilities, will reinforce its credentials and showcase it as an exciting place to conduct and base a business,” Bird concluded.