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New content partner announced for the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project centred on multi-million transformation of major landmark

By Imogen James

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Liam Anderstrem and Mark Craig using the 360 lens.
Liam Anderstrem and Mark Craig using the 360 lens.

On behalf of the Highland Council, High Life Highland (HLH) announced Airborne Lens is the partner to create immersive input for the impressive castle transformation project.

Airborne Lens is an award-winning team of experienced digital content producers who have been creating content for more than 20 years, and used 360 degree technology from early on.

The company will create two immersive experiences for visitors that draw off stories submitted by locals, forming part of a travelling exhibition across the Highlands.

Director of the Inverness Castle Project, Fiona Hampton, said: “This is a very exciting part of our project, allowing people to become immersed in the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands through virtual and augmented reality.

“The company will also be creating interactive content for Inverness Castle, allowing our visitors to interact with and explore the Highlands and Islands landscape in new ways, such as augmented reality.”

The team have worked with the BBC, VisitScotland, Sail Scotland, and ScottishPower.

The company’s founder Liam Anderstrem said: “We are thrilled to be working with the Inverness Castle Project to create immersive experiences inspired by stories of the Highlands and Islands.

“The popularity and capability of immersive digital content has increased dramatically over the past few years. This exciting and engaging medium lends itself perfectly to the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project.

“It will offer users a deeper connection to the people and landscapes of the region, as they immerse themselves in a series of themed experiences.

“The immersive environment portals will bring people together in a safe space and allow them to enjoy inspirational journeys through the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands.

“Using the latest in 360-degree filming technology, we are looking forward to bringing these journeys to life.”

The delivery of the project is supported through the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund led by NatureScot and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The castle transformation sees £15 million in support from the Scottish Government and £3 million from the UK Government to create a cultural hub and tourism gateway to the Highlands.

VisitScotland’s regional leadership director Chris Taylor said: “Being able to immerse yourself in the natural and cultural heritage of the Highlands and Islands is what makes a visit here so captivating, so I am looking forward to seeing what Airborne Lens will create using virtual and augmented reality to help bring that experience to life for visitors.

“This fantastic project will help encourage visitors to stay longer, visit all year round and explore more widely. Tourism is a force for good; creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing well-being.”

Step back in time for UHI students

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