More than 200 people were welcomed to the official launch of the eXRe project at the Mary Rose Museum this week.
The eXRe programme, led by the University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Creative and Immersive eXtended Reality (CCIXR), will champion the use of immersive technologies in heritage and visitor attractions.
Some of the technology that will form part of the programme was on show for visitors to experience - with guest Stephen Morgan MP trying his hand with a haptic glove.
Pippa Bostock, business director for CCIXR, said: ‘What a fantastic turnout. It is wonderful to see so many people.
‘We are absolutely delighted to be launching the eXRe programme.
‘It is lovely to be able to show off the equipment. It’s really exciting.’
CCIXR is working with Portsmouth City Council and with The Mary Rose Trust, Spinnaker Tower, Victorious Festival, Gosport Borough Council, Aspex Visual Arts Trust and The D-Day Story.
Dominic Jones, CEO at The Mary Rose, welcomed guests to the museum at the launch event.
He said: ‘What an honour, as one of those six key partners - it is so great to be part of this.’
Funded by the UK Community Renewal Fund, the eXRe project is set to work with local attractions to help the local economy benefit from the cutting edge facilities the centre will offer.
This, project leaders promise, will aid the city’s cultural-led regeneration as well as its community development.
Trevor Keeble, executive dean of the faculty of creative and cultural industries, said: ‘It is a real delight to be here and have so many people and partners coming to this launch event.
‘It is a thrill and a delight to welcome you here to the launch of the project.’
He told guests that the launch was a ‘special moment’ for the university as the project team have been ‘working on this for a number of years’.
Trevor added that he is excited to showcase the programme’s ‘cutting edge technology’, and added: ‘We really are thrilled.
‘There are a lot of people to be thanked.
‘We want to thank the creative community that are working with us.’
Mark Pembleton, Portsmouth City Council’s economic growth manager, added that the council is ‘absolutely overjoyed’ with the programme and the economic benefits it will have for the area.
In a speech to guests, he said: ‘This is brilliant. We are about to get a whole tranche of money coming to the area.
‘It’s really important that we get that technology out into the city, into 12,000 jobs in the creative sector - the fastest growing sector.’