Can you use 5G and immersive tech to tell Brighton Dome’s story in new and engaging ways?

FutureScope Heritage XR is a 16-week programme designed to drive ideas and innovation using advanced digital technologies within the UK heritage sector.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced heritage institutions to innovate and adapt the ways in which they told their stories. Now Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is looking at how advanced digital technologies can be used within their refurbished sites to engage audiences in new and original ways.

Brighton Dome is part of the Royal Pavilion Estate, and the programme goal is to identify three interactive and engaging experiences through which its rich cultural history can be shared. Part of the refurbished Brighton Dome site will have state of the art 5G connectivity, and BDBF would like to explore how this, and other technologies, can be used to deliver new interactive or immersive experiences to retell their fascinating heritage stories.

Successful applicants will receive £20,000 in funding, and will be able to experiment with 5G and other advanced digital technologies as they take the UK’s immersive creativity to a new level. This is an exciting opportunity to work with one of Brighton’s famous historic landmarks.

Benefits and support

FutureScope Heritage XR provides participants with the opportunity to create spectacular and engaging content that could be embedded into the Brighton Dome experience, including the Corn Exchange, a site of rich history and culture.


Grant funding to support available during the four month programme.

Bring your concept to life

Regular interactions with the Digital Catapult team, BDBF and Wired Sussex to assess, iterate and bring the concept to life.

State of the art facilities

Access to state of the art 5G testbed facilities in Brighton for testing and experimentation, as well as access to the Fusebox working space.

Access to expertise

Regular concept and technical support from Digital Catapult technologists.

One to one diagnostics

Diagnostic sessions with innovator leadership teams to determine current technological, commercial and strategic needs.

Business workshops

Tailored workshops to develop and improve wider business capability.

Peer and industry networking and learnings

Networking activities with other participants and industry leaders encouraging shared learning and insights.

Showcase your expertise

A showcase event with an invited audience of stakeholders, partners and industry representatives.

Who should apply?

This programme has been designed for UK-based startups, scaleups, creative studios, developers and consortia who have an interest in, and use case for, augmenting an already developed interactive or immersive experience, installation or production with 5G.

Accessibility for as many audiences and communities as possible should be part of the project’s DNA, with the social model of disability clearly understood by applicants. Applicants will be helping Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival reach and engage new audiences using advanced digital technologies as a vehicle, not a tool, to capture the rich and diverse history of part of the Royal Pavilion Estate.

We are looking for organisations that demonstrate ideas, creativity and a willingness to learn throughout the programme, as we will be scoring applications based on the originality of the proposal and market potential.

Potential themes and ideas

The following list of themes is by no means exhaustive, and we welcome any new and fresh ideas of how we can illuminate the past. There is a wealth of resources and information available about the sites, and if you would like to find out about any of the above or the site more generally, please get in touch at [email protected].

  • Women’s stories

    Including images of the Corn Exchange being used for two decades as a roller rink with live musicians; suffragettes who bought tickets to the roller rink (and who also disrupted political rallies in the Corn Exchange – one was also arrested for hiding in one of the organ chambers in the Brighton Dome Concert Hall); the women who were nurses during the spaces use as a hospital during WW1; and those not permitted to be nurses.

  • The many functions of the building during its lifetime so far
    • A Quaker burial ground
    • Stables and exercise yard
    • WWI hospital for Indian soldiers
    • Regular markets for corn
    • Sports venue (boxing, wrestling, table tennis, roller rink)
    • Political rallies and town hall meetings
    • Alternative comedy of the 80’s and raves in the 90’s.

    A permanent heritage interpretation in the Upper Bar (a digital interactive totem of screens) already shows much of the building’s history on a timeline, so responses to this brief would need to feel different. Work that brings the story right up to date and includes artists and shows that have been in the building since it became a performance space would be especially interesting.

  • A creative response that tells the story of the Brighton Dome’s construction

    This could include the various materials used, such as wood that was shipped in from other countries, and the craftsmanship that created this incredibly unusual and architecturally significant building.

  • Capturing some of the most unusual or ground-breaking events

    The Corn Exchange has been a major live performance venue for BDBF all year round and has hosted particularly ambitious live performances during the Brighton Festival. There are people who can be interviewed to tell many of these stories, as well as images in the archive.

5G related FAQs

If you have a question relating to 5G that’s not answered below, please get in touch at [email protected].

Selection criteria

All applications will be assessed and scored against six key criteria, shown here with weighting for each. Although we encourage applications that wish to leverage any advanced digital technology, all applications must at least have a potential 5G use case to take part in the programme.

Programme relevance: 25%

The proposal shows a good understanding of the brief, with a clearly defined demonstrator combining the history and heritage of the Royal Pavilion Estate with an engaging and interactive experience/ product/ installation that can be enjoyed by a range of audiences.

Technical feasibility: 25%

The technical delivery of the proposal is clear and achievable in the time frame and budget. The proposal shows a clear use case for how they can leverage 5G as well as any other advanced digital technologies they wish to use during the programme.

Appropriate team experience: 20%

The team is equipped to deliver the proposed demonstrator and has appropriate creative, immersive production, technology and business skills and know-how.

Inclusivity: 15%

The solution makes concerted efforts to include a diverse range of audiences through its planned design and content, and how it is experienced.

Originality: 10%

The idea is an example of thinking outside the box and likely to push boundaries for immersive content and innovation in the heritage sector.

Commercial potential: 5%

The solution has the potential to be replicated beyond the Heritage XR programme and the proposal shows an understanding of how it can be commercialised further.

Programme funding partners

  • Brighton Dome

    BrightonDome Logo

    As the south coast’s premier multi-arts venue, each year we present over 600 events spanning music, theatre, dance, comedy, literature, spoken word, visual arts, film, digital, community and participatory events.

    Our magnificent grade listed building situated in the heart of the city forms part of the Royal Pavilion Estate, and has been a shining beacon for the community for over 200 years. Starting as a grandiose riding stables for Prince Regent and transforming into many guises thereafter; from a place of protest and solidarity for Suffragettes, to a refuge for wartime dances in WWI, a temporary hospital in World War II and even a roller-skating venue. Read more about our history.

    Brighton Dome is an extraordinary space in which to bring the arts alive.

    A hub for artists across the region, Brighton Dome commissions and supports both emerging and established artists and companies, enabling them to develop, take risks and deliver work of the highest quality. Read about our Associate Artists and Programme Partners.

  • About Brighton Festival

    BrightonFestival logo

    Each year we produce Brighton Festival, the largest curated annual arts festival in England.

    A celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events, Brighton Festival takes place in familiar and unusual locations across Brighton & Hove and further afield for three weeks every May.

    Renowned for its pioneering spirit and experimental reputation, Brighton Festival has become one of the city’s most enduring symbols of inventiveness.

    The inaugural programme in 1967 included Laurence Olivier, Anthony Hopkins, Yehudi Menuhin, The Who, The Pink Floyd, Concrete Poetry. So we have a long tradition for attracting the most exciting performers from across the globe, as well as promoting local artists, and bringing fresh, challenging work that opens minds right across Brighton & Hove and beyond.

    Our ambitious and daring programming aims to make the most of the city’s distinctive cultural atmosphere, and draws some of the most innovative artists and companies from the UK and around the world.

  • Wired Sussex

    Wired Sussex supports the sustainable growth of digital, media and technology clusters south of London. We work with hundreds of start-ups and established businesses every year, helping them develop and grow.

    We provide dedicated innovation support in new and advanced digital technologies through our Brighton-based hub, the FuseBox. The FuseBox focuses on innovation through the effective fusion of creative practices with new technologies. It currently houses the Brighton Immersive Lab and the 5G Brighton testbed. Through our residency programmes, we support a brilliant and diverse cohort of businesses, including generative artists, creative technologists, filmmakers and developers working in VR and AR. They are working across a range of areas including Virtual and Augmented Reality, Virtual Production, 5G, edge computing, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Useful links

FutureScope is delivered by Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology.