Google names Braunton as internet trailblazer

09:00 09 July 2012

Braunton parish chairman Councillor Liz Spear - plus granddaughter Lola Harry - and Barnstaple Chamber of Commerce president Jon Dunkley with Google Juice Bar team (from left) Gori Yahaya, John Fegan, Rucha Amin and Koushik Vutha.

Braunton parish chairman Councillor Liz Spear - plus granddaughter Lola Harry - and Barnstaple Chamber of Commerce president Jon Dunkley with Google Juice Bar team (from left) Gori Yahaya, John Fegan, Rucha Amin and Koushik Vutha.

Archant

Community is top ‘e-village’ for online business in the UK according to internet search giant.

BRAUNTON has been crowned Britain’s number one village for online business by internet giant Google.

The famous search engine company number has named it the top Rural Digital Trailblazer and the village whose business has grown the most due to the use of cyber space.

During the past year Google found Braunton had grown its online commercial activity buy a whopping 43.5 per cent, its nearest rival Corsham in Wiltshire managing 39.4 per cent.

The company had assessed the strength of online commercial activity in rural areas with populations of fewer than 13,000.

“Braunton may be considered small in size, but has proven itself to be a formidable entrepreneurial centre as seen by its exceptional growth in online business,” said Dan Cobley, managing director of Google UK.

In recognition of its digital status and to encourage other small enterprises to join the growing success, Google teamed up with the Countryside Alliance to hold a Google Juice Bar in Braunton on Friday.

The event at the Vivian Moon Pathfinder Centre gave giving local businesses the opportunity to call in for free one-to-one digital advice.

No stranger to surfing, local business Gulf Stream has also been quick to embrace surfing the web too, according to Simon Skelton from the company:

“We set up the business in the 90s and things have changed dramatically with the internet,” he said.

“Online sales have rocketed and we knew it had the potential to bring us new surfers. For businesses of all shapes and sizes, particularly niche services, it opens up a world of possibilities at a very low cost.”

Parish council chairman Liz Spear said she had been a little surprised but pleased to hear the news: “This is not only a surfing area, we have diverse shops for almost everything and you very rarely see an empty shop in the village,” she said.

“It just shows you do not have to be a big town – even villages can be entrepreneurs too and it is a tribute to the community as a whole that we are riding the wave for economic growth.”

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