BT gifts free advertising to Nottingham based businesses as first Street Hub 2.0 Unit goes live
- First BT Street Hub 2.0 unit unveiled in Nottingham - with local businesses given the chance to advertise for free via the digital screens
- Recent research reveals that over 60 per cent of small firms say local advertising will boost awareness of their business, with almost half citing cost as major barrier to adoption
- Two thirds of small firms agree that mobile connectivity could be improved in their area, with Street Hub units set to boost 4G/5G coverage
Nottingham is one of the first places in the UK to benefit from BT’s new digital street units, with the first one in the city unveiled in Canal Street today.
BT is donating up to £7.5 million of outdoor advertising space to small businesses across the UK, as part of its roll-out of new Street Hub 2.0 units – which help build the UK’s digital infrastructure and include services such as an emergency call button, rapid mobile device charging and ultrafast Wi-Fi.
Local businesses in Nottingham are also being given the chance to advertise for free on the new Street Hub units, with nominations open now. BT is calling on local businesses and the public to nominate local firms who could benefit from the offer.
The launch comes as a recent BT study found that more than 60 per cent of small businesses agree that local advertising would help to increase awareness of their business, with 40 per cent saying it would encourage more people to shop at their local high street. However, almost half (49 per cent) said that cost was a major obstacle to them investing in local Out Of Home (OOH) advertising. BT is now taking action to remove one of the biggest barriers to adoption, with the Street Hub’s digital advertising screens designed to help small firms attract more customers following the local and national lockdowns.
Street Hubs can also help to enhance digital connectivity and services for communities through features including charity helplines, and local wayfinding via an integrated tablet.
A further three of the new Street Hub units will be rolled out in the first phase of the rollout across Nottingham in the coming months.
Councillor Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Skills, Growth and Economic Development at Nottingham City Council, said: "We're excited to see BT investing in these new Street Hubs and providing small businesses with an opportunity to raise their profiles in Nottingham city centre. The hubs, which contribute to Wi-Fi coverage in the city centre and offer information and mobile charging points, will benefit residents and visitors to Nottingham, and this will further support small and independent businesses who play such an important role in making Nottingham city centre a great place to socialise safely."
Sarah Walker, Director for BT’s Enterprise business in the Midlands, said: “BT has been supporting the recovery and growth of small businesses throughout the pandemic - and we’re moving up a gear as many prepare for one of the busiest times of the year. We hope that, by gifting free digital advertising space via our new Street Hub units, we can give small businesses in Nottingham an extra boost as high streets spring back to life. Our new Street Hub units can play a vital role in helping small firms to bounce back – whether that’s through building greater awareness of their business through free advertising, or by rejuvenating the high street by boosting local digital infrastructure.”
Kirsty Hole, Director of 101 Vintage, an independent vintage and used clothing store in Nottingham, said: “We’re a small independent shop, founded by two women, that opened our doors in September in the heart of Nottingham. One of our biggest challenges right now is connecting with customers and letting them know that we’re here. The power of local advertising is so important for us as a new small business, but Out-of-Home advertising felt completely out of reach at this early stage of our journey. The opportunity to have our name in lights on the new BT Street Hubs to let the local community know that we’re here, and open, is the perfect solution.”
The new digital units can also help local councils achieve their social and economic improvement and sustainability goals. With Nottingham City Council aiming to be carbon neutral by 2028, each Street Hub 2.0 unit can be fitted with air quality and CO2 sensors. This will provide local councils with the insight needed to help them take action to improve air quality, contributing to the health and wellbeing of local people.
BT’s latest study also revealed that around two thirds (66 per cent) of local businesses think that mobile connectivity could be improved in their local community, to help them work faster and smarter. BT’s new Street Hub 2.0 units will enhance local digital infrastructure by including the option to install mini mobile masts or ‘small cells’ on the structure to further boost 4G and 5G coverage in the local area.
Subject to local planning processes, BT is aiming to roll out around 300 of its new Street Hub 2.0 units across the UK in the next 12 months, working closely with local councils and communities.
BT Group is the UK’s leading telecommunications and network provider and a leading provider of global communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities in the UK include the provision of fixed voice, mobile, broadband and TV (including Sport) and a range of products and services over converged fixed and mobile networks to consumer, business and public sector customers. For its global customers, BT provides managed services, security and network and IT infrastructure services to support their operations all over the world. BT consists of four customer-facing units: Consumer, Enterprise, Global and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Openreach, which provides access network services to over 650 communications provider customers who sell phone, broadband and Ethernet services to homes and businesses across the UK.
For the year ended 31 March 2021, BT Group’s reported revenue was £21,331m with reported profit before taxation of £1,804m.
British Telecommunications plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
For more information, visit www.bt.com/about