Headlines: March 31st, 2003

The 154,000 citizens of Knowsley on Merseyside will soon be able to buy goods and services via the Internet and to exchange them without the need for money. The local council working with several partners including Connect Internet Solutions Ltd, Peapod UK Ltd., Kirkby Unemployed Centre, Huyton Credit Union, North West eGovernment Group and Blackburn & Darwen Borough Council, have set up an e-commerce project, Tradenet, to stimulate the local economy. The aim of the project is to enable small businesses and community groups to develop and maintain their own website, trade electronically and compete for business via links to the Council’s on-line tendering facilities.It is expected that the project will provide Internet connectivityfor over 100 small businesses and 50 community groups in Knowsley.They will be able to develop their own websites using the SiteMaker software. This comprehensive website creation package provides everything needed to create and maintain the website without the need for technical expertise. Businesses will be able to use ShopKeeper which is an easy and safe way to trade online. It provides a fully integrated shopping cart facility and enables a secure online store to be built and maintained by businesses without any technical knowledge.

The project has received funding from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.