Exciting new digital visitor attraction coming to Colchester

PUBLISHED: 26 April 2024

Colchester is set to welcome a cutting-edge digital visitor attraction by 2026, after plans were approved by Colchester City Council to establish an advanced 5G infrastructure in Colchester Castle and alongside the Roman Wall. 

We Are Colchester and Colchester City Council have joined forces to introduce a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience that will bring Colchester's Roman history to life, visually recreating key parts of it while building on the development of Colchester’s future-proof digital infrastructure.

Visitors will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Colchester's fascinating past through an innovative virtual reality experience, using either their smartphones or rented headsets. Featuring a digital archive of engaging actor-led stories, this unique attraction aims to showcase Colchester's rich heritage in a dynamic and interactive way.

Cllr David King, Leader of Colchester City Council, expressed his enthusiasm for the project: "Colchester holds a significant place in history and our goal to enhance its appeal as a tourist destination is gaining momentum. The introduction of the virtual reality experience promises a rich immersive glance into our past to attract more visitors to the city centre, boost revenue, and offer a fresh perspective on our heritage for generations to come.

"While the project is still in the works, the public will be invited to test the virtual reality experience and provide feedback. If successful, there are opportunities to expand the attraction to other locations, encompassing other periods of Colchester's history, such as the civil war siege."

Colchester has been a recipient of significant multi-million-pound investments from the Government and private sector during the 2020-2022 period to deploy future-proof fibre and 5G networks. The deployments have been spearheaded by Colchester Fibre, a division of Colchester Amphora Trading. This initiative is paving the way for Colchester to emerge as a leading digitally connected city in the East of England, laying the groundwork for innovative projects like the proposed visitor attraction.

Simon Blaxill, Chair of We Are Colchester, highlighted the importance of the digital sector, adding: "Colchester's creative industry, particularly in the digital realm, employs a considerable workforce and is experiencing rapid growth. We are dedicated to cultivating an environment that attracts investments and nurtures the sector's advancement."

The development of the 5G infrastructure, funded by a £19.2 million Town Deal grant, is estimated to cost approximately £400,000. Alongside an additional £19.6 million from Levelling Up and £2.5 million from Section 106, the funding is contributing to regenerating areas like Saint Nicholas Square and Balkerne Gate, enhancing cycling infrastructure, restoring heritage sites for public use, and enhancing various aspects of Colchester's city centre.

As part of the ongoing city regeneration efforts, Colchester City Council is working on an interactive city centre map to provide an overview of the transformative projects shaping the city's landscape by 2030. For more details on these initiatives, stay tuned to www.colchester.gov.uk.

Page last reviewed: 26 April 2024


Subscribe to receive updates on Council news, events and offers, green living, leisure and sport, museums, committees, jobs and more.