Launch of augmented reality project is set to bring new life to Chester’s amphitheatre

Chester is one of twelve of England’s historic cities which have collaborated to develop an innovative augmented reality (AR) product that is set to bring heritage to life. The ground-breaking new AR consists of an app and videos that transports the user back in time to unveil the hidden lives of some of history’s most fascinating characters at Chester’s amphitheatre.

The premise of the app is to capture significant historic moments in time whilst providing tourists the opportunity to explore England’s most historic cities. It uses cutting-edge technology to give the historical moments a fresh perspective and make history’s fascinating characters come to life. It is set to increase the attraction’s appeal by introducing a new, more technologically motivated and younger audience.  It also hopes to encourage return visitors by offering the opportunity to experience an attraction in a different way. In a rapidly changing and competitive tourist environment, the use of AR technology will offer a point of difference that will attract visitors and showcase the best of the city.

In Chester, the AR experience takes the user back to the grizzliest reconstructions of its bloody and brutal past. Visitors will be able to look through the beautiful ornamental planting that surrounds the amphitheatre today and instead be transported to the amphitheatre in a Roman fort town. They will see for themselves and learn through the app why such brutality was a fundamental part of the Romans culture. All while standing in the very spot, where the history happened.

Nicola Said, commercial director at Marketing Cheshire, who has delivered the project on behalf of the Heritage Cities, said: ‘This is one of the most exciting tourism products on the market – a true marrying of the old and the new and a completely innovative way to inspire an increasingly digital world to take a step back into the past. I cannot wait to see the app in action and watch people from all around the world take pleasure in England’s glorious, captivating history. It will enable all the cities in question to be able to reach new audiences and showcase the iconic cultural heritage we have to offer.’

England’s Heritage Cities cover the length and breadth of England, from Canterbury to Durham and Salisbury to Carlisle. They offer diverse experiences and all of them are well-connected via rail, making it easy for tourists to travel to more than one at a time.

The app ‘England’s Historic Cities’ is available to download for free on the app store or at historic-cities.com.

The exciting new project is funded by the £40 million Discover England Fund - administered by Visit England with support from private and public partners.

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