Pier entertainment goes digital at Swanage

Built in 1897 Swanage Pier is a historic ‘promenading’ pier that is open to the public and attracts a wide range of tourists, especially photographers. Small scale ferry services run to Poole Quay and historic paddle steamers visit for events. The pier also hosts a diving school, the oldest in the UK.

Following a successful Heritage Lottery Funding bid the Pier underwent infrastructure improvements, including a cafe, shop, and new digital interpretation available exclusively to visitors on the Pier via an Info-Point network.

Nick Morris of graphic designers Wallis Agency created a number of interpretation stories and developed the Info-Point content. “I was particularly taken by the ability to develop interactives such as a ‘scratch-off’ image that juxtaposes historic and current photographs of the Pier.” he said, “The built-in Content Management System and private ‘Staff’ area has meant that I can hand this over to the Trust and their volunteers to maintain. If enhancements are desired in the future it will be no problem as the whole system is so flexible.”

Ben Adeney, the CEO and General Manager at Swanage Pier Trust added, “As we were introducing a modest charge for visiting, we felt that we had to have a more professional visitor experience. However, we faced very severe local challenges, especially for on-site interpretation, due to the extreme weather and marine environment, plus the fact that we have public access, and the way that the Pier interferes with Wi-Fi signals. The Info-Point team came down and did extensive site testing, as well as supervising the installation and commissioning, so that all the challenges were overcome with confidence. The system has been an instant hit with our team of volunteers who are so vital to our success.”