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£58,000 grant for virtual reality workshops at libraries

Blackpool teenagers are to get an insight into future careers using technology such as virtual reality thanks to a £58,000 Lottery grant.

The money will be used to hold a series of free workshops later this year in libraries across the town aimed at youngsters aged between 13 and 17.

It is hoped to inspire them to consider future opportunities to work in creative industries which use the latest digital technology.

The Explore Tech, Expand Worlds programme will also create connections between Blackpool and technology companies to boost career opportunities for young people.

The public workshops will launch in October, with immersive storytellers MBD Limited inviting young people to try their hand at making their own game worlds to explore.

This will include learning the basic skills in 3D design, world building, game development, visual storytelling and more using the Unreal game engine. The team is also planning a dedicated ‘women in tech’ themed workshop.

Coun Jo Farrell, Blackpool Council cabinet member for levelling up – people, said: “Local teenagers will get a fantastic, hands-on opportunity to build skills and creative learning whilst gaining insight into an ever-growing industry.

“As well as delivering core services, Blackpool’s Libraries forward-thinking team continues to grow an ambitious programme for our residents, filled with commitment, creativity and value.”

The library team will also be connecting with year 9 students via a local school, which will deliver workshops with an artist, and an author to create a story-led VR experience.

Further details of the workshops will be revealed in the coming months, with work set to be showcased at an event at Central Library.

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