The concept of developing ‘smart villages’ across the county of Shropshire will be thrown into the spotlight at an event this week.

Paul Moran, chairman of network group Shropshire Constructing Excellence (SCE), has been invited to talk to businesses about how digital technologies and innovations can help improve the quality of life for those living in small rural areas.

Paul, business development director for Knockin based building contractors Pave Aways, will help lead discussions at the SMART Rural event on February 13, at University Centre Shrewsbury.

Organised by university partner CREST, the event is aimed at provoking thought and discussion on the opportunities for developing smart energy and construction projects across the county.

Paul said: “This will be a fantastic opportunity for construction companies, architects, academics, local authorities, consultants, environmental regulators and many more to join in with some meaningful discussions on how we can transform our rural communities into ‘smart villages’.

“The concept is fairly new in the UK and it’s about building on the strengths and assets which already exist in our rural areas as well as developing new opportunities.

“The thinking is that existing networks and services in rural communities can be enhanced using digital and telecommunication technologies, innovations and better use of knowledge.

“Not only can digital technologies improve the quality of life for people living and working in rural villages, they can also have less impact on the environment and provide new opportunities for businesses to work in partnership.”

Paul will be joined by two other guest speakers: Carl Huntley, managing director at Base Architects, who will talk about his vision for self-sustaining eco-villages in Shropshire and Simone Lowthe-Thomas, chief executive at Severn Wyre Energy Agency, who will talk about sustainable energy solutions.

Those attending the event will be introduced to several different smart rural case studies and there will be an opportunity for local projects to promote their SMART schemes.

For more information or to book a place at the event visit