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Augmented Reality for Lancaster Castle

Thursday, 13th October 2016

Lancaster is one of twelve cities in England that has been awarded a share of £250,000 to develop an innovative new augmented reality project to bring its heritage to life and increase its appeal with younger audiences.

The project is one of a number of projects to receive funding from the £40m Discover England Fund, administered by VisitEngland. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding by partners in the public and private sectors.

Its aim is to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time.
 
The project will use technology to bring heritage to life and develop new content that will increase the appeal of England’s heritage with the under 35 market in the US. Each of the twelve iconic heritage sites and experiences will be interpreted using techniques such as augmented reality. This new content will be turned into a set of tools for the travel trade helping them to sell and showcase the breadth and quality of England’s heritage.
 
In Lancaster, Marketing Lancashire will be focusing on bringing Lancaster Castle to life by giving visitors a more immersive sense of its history when they visit.
 
Distribution of the new products will be through online travel agencies, trade partners, the app store, and direct to consumers booking breaks in any of the 12 destinations
 
Ruth Connor, Chief Executive at Marketing Lancashire, which will be delivering Lancaster’s project, said  “We’re very pleased to be working closely with The Duchy of Lancaster on this exciting and innovative project that will enable us to showcase one of England’s best preserved and most historically significant castles. Telling its fascinating story to new audiences, using the most up-to-date and engaging technology.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe, said “We had an exceptionally high number of submissions far outweighing the allocated funding available and following a rigorous applications process we are delighted to work closely with those excellent winners on building world-class ‘bookable’ tourism products showcasing the best of England to international and domestic visitors.”
 
“This is a great way for the project to showcase their inspirational heritage offer, harnessing the power of technology to capture the imagination of a new market.”

This new initiative complements Marketing Lancashire’s wider Cultural Tourism project, funded by Arts Council England’s National Lottery Funded Grants for the Arts Programme, which aims to establish Lancashire’s cultural offer as one of the leading reasons to visit the county;  next month a newly commissioned artwork by environmental artist Steve Messam entitled When The Red Rose in Lancaster, will appear as part of the Light Up Lancaster Festival (4 & 5 November), as the finale to a quartet of temporary site-specific artworks funded through the project.

 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors:
About the Discover England Fund
• In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
1. The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. England has seen record tourism spend in the past year from both domestic and international visitors delivering economic growth and jobs across all the English regions.
• The Fund will support a number of projects and pilots in year one (2016/17) to test and develop product development approaches and a small number of large-scale collaborative projects that create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers (in years two and three - 2017-19). A smaller funding pot for new one year projects and pilots, and continuation funding for existing round one projects that can demonstrate early learnings, will also be available.
About VisitBritain/VisitEngland
• VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)
• Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitbritain.org or www.visitbritain.com and www.visitengland.com  for consumer information.

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