The £1million programme supported by Welsh Government called for ideas that contribute to the development of a hyperlocal media sector which covers online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community.
Led by Nesta and the Technology Strategy Board the programme will identify the technologies, business models, content opportunities and challenges for a successful hyperlocal media sector in the UK.
Ten submissions from Wales were submitted as part of the 165 Destination Local competition and Papur Dre from Caernarfon and My Town from Welshpool and Newtown were successful.
Business Minister Edwina Hart congratulated the teams behind the Welsh bids she said:
"It’s good new that two projects from Wales have been selected, highlighting the capability of Welsh businesses to contribute to this important sector.
"Destination Local provides an excellent opportunity for individuals and enterprises in Wales to access funding and make an important contribution to the development of a hyperlocal media sector. This is an emerging sector with potential for significant growth, offering new business opportunities while also providing a valuable service for local communities."
The successful projects are:
MyTown will launch new sites, in addition to its existing two in Montgomeryshire. It will create a location aware mobile app, on both Android and iOS, for all sites allowing geographically relevant content i.e. the latest news headlines to be viewed on mobile phones. The service will also create push notifications and users of the app will also be able to upload their own content.
Papur Dre (Town Paper) is a community newspaper working with Cwmni Da, a television production company and Coleg Menai, a further education college in North West Wales. Working together they will create a Welsh language mobile service that features news and information, using images, text and video. Students from the college will have the opportunity to create content for the service and produce a hyperlocal video news channel.
David Williams, co-founder MyTown said:
"A lot of hard work has gone into establishing both mywelshpool and mynewtown as credible sources of local news and information over the last two years. This grant support will allow our readers to receive their local news through the very latest cutting edge mobile technology. The support will also activate our expansion programme into new towns."
Dylan Huws, Cwmni Da’s Managing Director said:
"We’re very excited that our bid has been successful . This is great news for Gwynedd, and we’ve been given a real opportunity to help Papur Dre face the challenges of the digital era."
Nesta Programme Director, Jon Kingsbury added:
"We are pleased that two projects from Wales have been selected to deliver highly localised information services to niche audiences. Destination Local will prototype the next generation of these services in a bid to understand whether these new technologies and platforms can deliver sustainable, scalable models that serve local communities and deliver economic benefit."