UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has today announced a new £6m project to support UK-based artists and organisations to explore the creative potential of immersive technology.

Grant funding of £3.6m will be made available to over 200 artists and organisations using immersive technology including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR).

The Immersive Arts project has been funded through a grant from the XRtists scheme, itself funded through a partnership between the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Wales.

The three-year programme includes training, mentoring, specialist facilities and funding.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Developing the skills and infrastructure underpinning immersive technology will maximise the potential of our powerful creative industries and achieve our goal of growing them by £50 billion by 2030.”

The programme will be led by the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), with the lead hub at Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol.

The remaining four core partners based in each of the nations of the UK who will work closely with artists in their region are Cryptic in Glasgow, Scotland; Nerve Centre in Belfast and Derry, Northern Ireland and Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Additional partners include Unlimited, which works with disabled artists and audiences to challenge the culture sector and changing perceptions of disability, and Immerse UK, a membership organisation for immersive technologies.

Darren Henley, CEO at Arts Council England, said: “Creative producers and cultural organisations have always been vital in unlocking the potential of new technology, as we are seeing in the innovative experiences artists and cultural organisations are creating for immersive platforms.”

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