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UCLan Burnley students create immersive virtual tour of Towneley Hall

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UCLan Burnley students create virtual tour for Towneley Hall
Susan Marshall and Wayne Casey with their finished Virtual Tour

Two first class FdSC Web Design and Development students from UCLan Burnley have dedicated their year-long university project to developing a complete virtual tour of Towneley Hall, one of Burnley’s best-loved historical tourist attractions.

Susan Marshall and Wayne Casey worked together on the project, consulting with Towneley Hall to determine how a virtual tour could benefit the historic hall and its hundreds of annual visitors.

The pair then worked as part of a group to produce the virtual tour in line with the needs of Towneley Hall, using photography and specialist software to design and create a flawless finished product.

With visitors of Towneley Hall in mind, the tour was also designed with an easy-to-understand user interface. The strong relationship they developed with their client, Towneley Hall’s manager Ken Darwen, allowed both Susan and Wayne to exercise creative freedom on the project, resulting in a 360 degree virtual tour that’s enjoyable to use and showcases Towneley Hall’s stunning interior rooms and spaces.

During the planning stages of the project, it became apparent to Susan and Wayne that the virtual tour would be uniquely useful to those with accessibility issues. Almost a third of Towneley Hall is off-limits to visitors who find it difficult to use stairs, and so the 360 degree virtual tour will now be installed within the Towneley Hall visitors’ area, to enable all to view its stunning but harder-to-access rooms.

The pair are now looking forward to receiving their degrees at the UCLan Burnley graduation on Thursday 14 September and working in partnership to start up a virtual tour business venture in Burnley.

Susan Marshall said about working on the project:

“It was great to be able to build our Virtual Tour with the complete support of Towneley Hall and UCLan Burnley. We both worked tirelessly over the past year to make sure every component of the project was completed to an exceptionally high standard and we’re really proud of the finished product. We hope it can help a lot more people see Towneley Hall and help people from all over the world visit a place we all know so well in the heart of Burnley.”

Tutor Lyn Bradley said:

“Both Susan and Wayne worked very hard on this project to make sure every aspect of it was useful and worked perfectly. The end product is a professional-standard virtual tour ready to be used within Towneley Hall’s visitors centre. It’s a fantastic achievement.”

Ken Darwen, Towneley Hall Manager said:

“All I can say is Wayne and Susan have been amazing. Nothing I asked for was too much trouble for them, they have been so dedicated and focused throughout the project. They listened to what we wanted and delivered a great tour which I am sure will help promote visits to Towneley Hall.”

Deputy Principal of UCLan Burnley Karen Buchanan said:

“We’re extremely proud to have some exceptional student work in Towneley Hall, not least because it will enhance the visitor experience for all who use it. It’s clear that Susan and Wayne have worked hard to create a product exactly to the specifications they were given and the result is a useful and beautiful virtual tour, giving access to areas of the building some may not have been able to access otherwise. This is a fantastic achievement.”

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Andrew Mann
After 34 years working in numerous operational and communications disciplines for three FTSE companies (Yorkshire Electricity; Meggitt and BAE Systems), at over a dozen locations, on 24 November 2016, I became the inaugural editor of Business Lancashire. Business Lancashire is a good news, Lancashire focused, business website and daily newsletter. It is a partnership between The Samuel James Group and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce. Over the years, I have written hundreds of press releases, features for trade magazines, copy for websites and brochures, edited in-house magazines and newsletters, as well as presenting a radio programme on Chorley FM. This experience has given me the ideal background for editing Business Lancashire.