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Gloucestershire Business News

City is 12th most influential place in the UK

Gloucester has jumped 41 places up the Digital Influence Index, which measures how much people are talking about towns and cities in the UK.

The UK Digital Influence Index is calculated by collecting the follower and message count from every UK retailer's social media accounts daily and Gloucester has now risen to 12th place.

According to the index, the more Gloucester is talked about online, the more people are likely to visit - helping attract more shops and create jobs. Gloucester has leapt ahead in the rankings since January 2017; recent digital projects include providing free Wi-Fi in the city centre.

Investment in digital based projects is part of the City Centre Investment Fund. So far, the city council has dedicated £29,000 from the £2m fund into digital projects, with the aim of helping businesses connect with shoppers both online and in real life.

The City Centre Investment Fund was set up by the city council in 2012 to support improvements to the city centre environment, regeneration and economic development projects, with the overall aim of making Gloucester an attractive place to live and visit, and encouraging more businesses to open in the city centre.

Projects range from restoration of historic buildings, funding the city's Christmas lights, providing hanging baskets, to the major four gates streets public realm scheme, which is an ongoing project to improve city centre streets for pedestrians.

The investment fund also supports growth in the city centre through its business growth grants, available to new and small businesses to help them thrive in Gloucester.

The city council's cabinet was due to discuss the fund's progress at a meeting today, as well as looking at proposals to bid for further digital funding from the government's Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme.

Cllr Paul James, leader of the council and cabinet member for regeneration and economy said: "Investing in the digital and physical landscape is crucial in keeping our local economy thriving.

"We are working hard to put Gloucester on the digital map, and results show this is paying off already. By investing in our digital landscape as well as regenerating the city centre, we hope to build a strong local economy for future generations."

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