Tomorrow, RIO are submitting plans for the £7million redevelopment of the Market Hall in Devonport which will see them transform the derelict Grade II listed building into a cutting-edge space for digital skills, research, learning and entertainment.

Working with Le Page Architects, RIO has developed a scheme which adds an additional 820sqm to the current shell of the former Market Hall to accommodate flexible work space, events and exhibition space, a café, bar and restaurant. Housed in the new extension will be an impressive 15m immersive dome theatre which will offer a large scale shared virtual reality environment – the first of its kind in Europe.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO, said: “We're very pleased to be submitting full plans to gain planning permission for the Market Hall. It is a key step in the journey to realising our ambitions to create a world class, cutting edge digital arts, enterprise and learning centre in Plymouth including an amazing immersive dome with shared Virtual Reality technologies. Fingers crossed things go smoothly, we can start building towards the end of the year."

Professor Mike Phillips, Director of i-DAT said "The Market Hall is a critical vehicle for realising Plymouth’s digital ambitions. It will provide a significant gravitational pull for our graduates, diverse audiences and an international community of digital practitioners.

“The unique facility and the inclusion of a ‘first in Europe’ immersive dome will boost i-DAT’s transdisciplinary research into immersive media, game technologies and the shared Virtual Reality of the Fulldome… the kind of stuff that expands your brain and melts your eyes.”

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