The Trust of Liverpool’s iconic St George’s Hall and the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) have announced the launch of a unique strategic initiative designed to establish the Liverpool City Region as a leader in digital heritage.
Supported by funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) LCR4 HOLISTIC Project, the St George’s Hall Trust and the VEC will pioneer a new approach to preserving, promoting and progressing cultural heritage through technologies such as AI, Blockchain and the Metaverse.
Digital heritage is the use of digital technology to improve the understanding and preservation of cultural or natural heritage. The partnership will connect the city region’s heritage assets with local SME tech providers, manufacturers and startups. The VEC’s digital transformation expertise will develop a digital heritage ecosystem to revolutionise Liverpool’s heritage economy and create new supply chains that will make Liverpool a world leader in digital heritage.
The partnership launched on the 14th June 2022 with the first UK Digital Heritage Symposium, bringing together heritage leaders, assets, academics, SMEs and technologists to discuss and showcase the potential application of digital tools in heritage.
The VEC and St George’s Hall Trust have a history of collaboration, having already completed a pilot project to create a life-like digital copy of the Hall’s historic and beautifully preserved Minton tile floor. The VEC engineers captured a clear and concise 360-degree digital scan of the 30,000 handcrafted Minton tiles. This simulation technology can be used to showcase the tiles remotely, potentially offering many more people the ability to enjoy the historic tiles which are currently on display just once a year.
The project is a powerful demonstration of the potential for Digital Heritage in the Liverpool City Region, as a way to help museums and galleries innovate in a post-COVID world.
The partners will be working together to support the Director of Heritage for Liverpool City Council’s development of a Digital Heritage Strategy for the city region. The strategy will focus on the themes of heritage preservation, the promotion of its value, lessons to new generations, and the progression of history as a driver of inclusion, education and enterprise.
The support has:
- Highlighted the unique capabilities and expertise of SMEs and local businesses from across Liverpool City Region
- Brought together heritage leaders, assets, academics, SMEs and technologists from across the North West who can support the strategy
- Identified challenges and proposed viable solutions for digital heritage moving forward
- Promotes the need for better preservation and improved promotion of the city's heritage sites and assets
- Encourages the regions leaders to support the strategy in the future
- Improves collaboration across the city including smaller and larger organisations for the creation of a digital heritage cluster
- increases awareness and adoption of digital technology across the sector and Liverpool city region
- Using digital heritage sites and assets for combatting deprivation
"“Liverpool is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich cities in Europe, and our collection of over 2,500 Grade I, II and II* buildings, monuments, and green spaces makes us one of the historically richest cities in the world. Our collaboration with VEC has the potential for Liverpool City Region to lead the way in bringing heritage, digital and enterprising businesses together to create a new Digital Heritage economy so that our illustrious heritage plays a key role in defining Liverpool’s future.”"
Liverpool’s Head of Heritage Preservation and Development
Liverpool City Council