Tararua District Digital Hub an Exciting Innovation:
The $400,000 Tararua Digital Hub (Digital Spaces), funded by the Provincial Growth Fund, is a massive step forward for our district.
“This is a first for our district and a key business tool for those who access the facility,” Tararua District Council’s Colin Yonge said. “It’s an exciting innovation and a great support service for growth of business in our district.”
The funding, over five years, couldn’t have come at a better time for our district, Mayor Tracey Collis, said.
The Provincial Growth Fund recognised the need for such a facility when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, with the resulting Alert Level 4 lockdown showing good internet connectivity was crucial.
Access to the internet is critical for regions’ economies and wellbeing and digital spaces allows people to connect for business development and support and offer services such as free wi-fi, co-working spaces and guidance on use of the internet for business and skills development purposes.
Digital Spaces, based at the i-SITE in Woodville, is a collaboration space which is a free resource for people to tap into and a way to grow business aspirations, Yonge said.
Mark Maxwell, Communications and Economic Development manager believes "It’s a space for sharing ideas, working within a space rather than working alone from home. “It’s about being part of a community,” he said.
Tertiary students, business start-ups, home-based businesses and established companies are encouraged to use the hub, its hot desks, video conferencing, access to tools for businesses online or to help meet client’s needs, workshops and training sessions, with the opportunity to also work on web development, design and videography.
The new Digital Spaces Activator, Toni Chapman, has been employed to run the facility and she’s looking forward to welcoming people into what promises to be an exciting and innovative space.
Toni will provide great support and she will also be out in the community meeting business leaders and problem solvers.
“This is about growing people’s business aspirations and Toni will run workshops, along with other training opportunities in digital connectivity,” Yonge said. “The Digital Hub is there for people to work from and as a drop-in space with a supportive mechanism.”
Maxwell said the individuals who come together will hopefully create digital collaborations, making the most of the space and the think tank opportunities.
The Digital Hub, at 45 Vogel Street, Woodville, will have a soft launch throughout November with an official launch at a later date.
Photo: Artists impression of "Digital Spaces" branding