Chepstow looks set to become the UK’s next ‘Wikipedia town’, it emerged yesterday.
Officials hope to recreate the success of “Monmouthpedia” by installing special bar codes at prominent locations. The project, conceived by Wikipedia editor John Cummings, offers comprehensive coverage of an entire town by placing QR codes on the sides of buildings and at the entrance to other attractions.
Visitors with smartphones can then scan the codes and instantly access up-to-date Wikipedia entries about all aspects of local life. More than 1,000 were placed in Monmouth in May which, according to the South Wales Argus, put the town “on the global map”. Now Monmouthshire County Council hopes to roll-out the same technology in Chepstow in a bid to showcase the castle, riverside, Wales Coast Path, and other local sights.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting last week, the council's chief officer for regeneration and culture, Kellie Beirne, said: “We are creating a buzz really that has global prominence.” Paul Matthews, the council’s chief executive, said the financial return from the project was “exponential”. Advertising value for Monmouth alone has been estimated at £2.12million. The president of Chepstow Chamber of Commerce, Melanie Phillips, said: “I think it would give a better visitor experience, an awful lot of information and bring tourism here into the 21st century.”
Chepstow property, together with new developments in Chepstow and new developments in Monmouthshire, will also benefit. A spokesman for Severn Quay, a luxury development of riverside properties in Chepstow, added: “We look forward to hearing more about what sounds like a very, very exciting project.”