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January 30, 2008

Communities in Fife Get Smart

Six communities across Howe of Fife have pulled their resources to embrace the digital age and create a web portal with the purpose of providing a community-driven news and information service.


The organisation came to be after a 2004 Scottish Enterprise project aimed at supporting Scotland to become a ‘leading digital nation’ revealed Howe of Fife communities were interested in embracing broadband technology and forming a ‘Smart Community’ within Fife.

Big Lottery Fund stepped in to support the project in 2007 and we are funded largely by them until 2009. It is our aim that the portal become financially self-sufficient in three years and we intend to sell advertising space to local businesses, as well as seeking funding from other sources to keep the site fully functioning.

What is a ‘Smart Community?’
A Smart Community is one that provides advanced communication and information infrastructure to enable residents and organisations make good and independent use of, and gain benefit from, advanced telecommunications networks (in this case broadband.)

Our Vision
To develop a community-sustained portal that will ‘knock your socks off’.

Our Mission
To create and develop a web portal that is a community-driven information source (i.e. information will be provided by the community for the community). The portal will be be relevant, responsive, accessible and meet the developing needs of our communities. It will also promote our communities to a global audience.

We will do this by working in partnership with key stakeholders, partners and providers. We will do this openly, honestly, responsibly and in the spirit of community.

Amongst other things, we hope the site will evolve to support and enable:
– easier access to information for local people
– business and economic development
– tourism development
– simpler delivery of public services
– learning, education and training
– preservation of cultural heritage and development of the arts
– a healthier community
– the administration of local government
Who are Smart Community Fife?
The organisation’s Steering Group is made up of committed Howe residents who believe the project will benefit the lives of all those living, working and playing in the Howe of Fife. The hard-working Steering Group are all volunteers who have committed much time and energy to the development of the portal.