As we look forward to the opening of the Strawberry Fields Digital Hub we welcome a new face to the team that will help the businesses based there develop their digital skills.
We took some time to have a chat with University Advisor Gill Millington and talk through the plans for the state-of-the-art building, off Euxton lane.
Gill has a wealth of experience in the digital sector and was an early adopter of social, website building and SEO (search engine optimisation).
“There are a lot of social media experts around now and people who will tell you what to do and what not to do but I learnt the hard way, if you like, by testing things out and seeing what worked and what didn’t work because the knowledge wasn’t around back then,” explained Gill.
“Having run my own business and built well over a hundred websites I can use all that insight to benefit businesses and give them a return on investment.
“There is so much information available to businesses through analytics it’s critical that they make the most of this and measure all their marketing activity so they are working as effectively as they can.”
Gill, who lives just a mile from the new development, will work with us one day per week with the rest of her time spent supporting businesses through Boost Lancashire.
She is excited about the offices opening and says it is a real coup for Chorley to have a facility like this.
“It’s going to bring some kudos to Chorley as it’s quite a big thing to have something like this based outside of the city regions,” said Gill.
“It will bring people into Chorley, not just getting businesses here, it will also attract people into Chorley, which is fantastic for the place.
“We’re seeing lots of interest in the space and it’s about getting the right mix of businesses and ensuring they are all digitally-focussed.
“It will be a site that people from all over Lancashire can utilise and it’d be nice to get some of the manufacturing businesses, particularly those based in the east of the county, coming to use the facilities.”
The digital hub will open its doors in the summer and Gill will be the person to make the links between the businesses and the universities and match people together that will benefit from sharing knowledge.
“I will see the project a success when we get everyone in and people are co-working, pushing business between each other,” said Gill.
“That would see web designers, working with graphic designers, sharing that work with SEO specialists and then co-working with a company doing apps, that type of thing.
“It’s an opportunity for businesses to appear bigger than they are because they can co-work with other businesses.”