Monmouthpedia could bring Wikipedia effect to Chepstow
CHEPSTOW could be the next place to benefit from revolutionary technology which has put another local town on the global map.
Monmouth has 1,000 QR codes dotted around the town, which residents and visitors can scan with a smartphone to link to Wikipedia articles about various landmarks, people and places.
As part of 'Monmouthpedia,' Monmouthshire council signed a trademark agreement with San Francisco's Wikimedia Foundation for a restricted right of access to the brand and logo, to expand it county wide.
The council's chief officer for regeneration and culture Kellie Beirne, speaking at last week's cabinet meeting, said Chepstow and Raglan are likely to be the next places to benefit from the project.
Overseas, places like Barcelona and Bordeaux are said to have developed similar initiatives, which grew from an idea of Monmouth man John Cummings and will cost the county council £40,000 to roll out.
"We are creating a buzz really that has global prominence," said Ms Beirne.
Council chief executive Paul Matthews said the project was voted the 'world's coolest' this year at the annual Wikimania conference.
He said it was an example of innovation where people can write stories about their local towns and be proud of the space.
Councillors were unanimous in their praise for the project, while chief executive Paul Matthews said the financial return was "exponential."
More than 252 articles were published in 36 countries about Monmouthpedia on the day in was launched in May, with advertising value in the region of £2.12 million.
The Chepstow Marketing group, which has local representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and town council on its committee, wants to bring Monmouthpedia to the town.
President of Chepstow Chamber of Commerce, Melanie Phillips, said it would be ideal to showcase attractions such as the castle, riverside and the start of the Wales Coast Path.
"I think it would give a better visitor experience, an awful lot of information and bring tourism here into the 21st century," she said.