new solar bench

Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with The Forum and Westcotec are installing an innovative solar bench in the city.

Located outside The Forum, the solar bench will be the first installation of its type in the country.  This exciting new addition to the urban furniture of the city will be available for the public to use on a 12-month trial from Friday 1 March.

The solar bench will complement the modern architecture of The Forum.  Its smart technology enables visitors to the city to charge their devices free of charge.  With a comfortable design the bench also allows users to relax whilst enjoying free Wi-Fi and simultaneously charging their phone or tablet.

Futuristic by design, yet a response to today’s ever-increasing need for sustainable solutions, the solar bench is a fantastic innovative solution functioning solely on clean solar energy.  Solar panels minimize demand for energy and reduce CO2 levels. With USB charging ports and 120watts of output the bench will be ready to use all day.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director, Norwich BID said, “It’s great to be working in partnership with The Forum and Westoctec to ensure Norwich remains a smart city.  This new urban infrastructure will help city centre visitors get online using the free Norwich BID WiFi.  It’s fantastic that we are able to install the UK’s first solar bench in Norwich and look forward to seeing lots of people making use of the bench whilst charging their devices”.

Teresa Wood, Head of Estates at The Forum said, “We’re pleased to support this great initiative from Norwich BID. The scheme fits well with The Forum’s plan to minimise our environmental impact, such as our electric vehicle charging points and the recent installation of car park smart LED lighting to reduce energy usage by 85%. We hope that visitors will soak up the sunshine and recharge their phones whilst enjoying the events here.”

About Norwich BID

Established in November 2012 the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) is run for local businesses by local businesses.  It is a simple and tried and tested way of increasing economic prosperity for companies of all sizes through collaboration.  The BID covers a defined area of Norwich where businesses plan how to improve their trading environment, identifying additional projects and services that develop the city centre and trade.  Investment in the BID area aims to enhance and promote the local environment for businesses, employees, customers.

2017 saw Norwich BID’s term renewed by the business community for a further 5 years, with a wider scope and its area of operation expanded to include more areas of the city including Riverside.

The overarching vision is to; Make a clear positive impact on the vitality of our city centre and the success of the businesses within it.

About The Forum

The Forum, in the centre of Norwich, is one of the UK’s most successful Millennium projects.

It’s a public building, open seven days a week, all year round (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

Everyone is welcome. Most of the public events, exhibitions and activities which take place at The Forum are free.

The Forum Trust is the independent, self-financing, charitable organisation which manages The Forum building.

It is responsible for The Forum’s continued development, growth and innovation.

The Trust works with many partners to ensure The Forum plays a valuable role in the community.

Click here for details about the charitable ‘project purpose’ which under-pins The Forum

About Westcotec

Since 2001, Westcotec has been at the forefront of the vehicle activated sign industry. Based in the centre of Norfolk, we have grown to become one of the biggest suppliers of quality vehicle-activated signs and intelligent systems in the UK. Using the latest LED, radar and thermal technology, we are able to provide effective solutions to most traffic related safety problems using light emitting symbols and legends for warning signs and roundels.

Westcotec became an employee owned company as of the 1st August 2018.