22 May 2022

Longford Text Alert scheme awarded €14,000 in Our Rural Future funding

Scheme is one of 20 projects awarded fudning

Longford Text Alert scheme awarded €14,000 in Our Rural Future funding

Longford Text Alert scheme has been awarded €14,000 in funding under the Our Rural Future Digital Innovation Programme, which funds local authority-led innovation projects that provide a public benefit and support regional digital development.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today announced that €1.2 million in funding would go towards 20 projects across the country.

Longford Text Alert is a smartphone app development project that unifies community communications across Co. Longford for a variety of community-led initiatives such as community text alert including crime, active age, Tidy Towns, BCP initiatives and more.

App screens will also provide additional Longford information through interactive maps and live weather warnings.

There are numerous Text Alert initiatives across Co. Longford, and the aim of the project is to work with the community text alert groups, An Garda Siochána and the Joint Policing Committee in order to deliver alerts through the smartphone app thus reducing the cost of SMS for the local community text alert group.

By linking in with local text alert groups, it also allows communities to expand their array of local communications to other initiatives such as Tidy Towns groups, active age groups, BCP initiatives (digital skills) and more.

This system will also support non-liners (people who don't have broadband and are not online) who have a mobile phone as they will be able to receive a text message.

An awareness campaign will be held in local BCP’s firstly to promote and show citizens how to sign up for the new system and if they have a smart phone show them how to download the app and highlight to them other ways they could use their device to benefit from digital engagement. This will also create an opportunity for us to introduce and explain what’s possible in their local BCP.

A key part of the app communication service is to provide regular updates about BCP initiatives in Co. Longford.

“The Digital Innovation Programme is designed to encourage innovation and collaboration, and to help us to work smarter in supporting rural Ireland.  The range of projects approved today showcase the imagination, energy and expertise that exists in rural Ireland," said Minister Humphreys.

“People who live in rural Ireland are nothing if not innovative. In recent years we have seen drones delivering medicine to our Island communities. This small scheme is all about giving rural communities the opportunity to trial new technologies which will solve local problems. If it works for one community, it can work for others and we can then look at replicating these models in other areas.

“I look forward to seeing these projects delivering clear benefits to rural communities over the coming months.”

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