VR brings Pendle workplaces to life for schoolchildren

Silentnight interior
Silentnight interior

Virtual reality technology has given Pendle secondary school pupils a chance to "step inside" a diverse range of Pendle workplaces and visualise their future career oportunities

Pendle Borough Council commissioned arts group In-Situ to create an artist-led series of films introducing high school pupils to the workplace as part of its #makeitinpendle campaign.

Working with artist Andy Abbott, In-Situ filmed in the workplaces of five leading local creative manufacturers: Silentnight, Hope Technologies, Higherford Mill, Fence Gate and Lodge, and Barnfield Construction.

The immersive films, viewed through virtual reality headsets, each feature a 360 degree tour of workplaces by the businesses.

They show life on the factory floor, in a professional kitchen, an artist’s studio and a technology lab.

Paul Hartley, of In-Situ, said: “These films will be used as a first step for secondary school pupils thinking about creative careers in Pendle. Many don’t realise that some major manufacturers are operating right on our doorstep, and the possibilities for them here.”

Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council, said: “Some of the country’s most famous brands are based in Pendle, including Rolls Royce, Silentnight, Mackintosh and Farmhouse Biscuits and we have the highest concentration of employment in advanced manufacturing in the UK.

“We want our younger generations who go off to university to come back to Pendle to live and work, bringing their fantastic range of much needed skills.

“We were delighted to work with In-Situ on this fantastic project which we hope will show just how many creative career opportunities there are here and that you can #makeitinpendle!”

Julie Dix of Silentnight said: “Working on the VR films with In-Situ was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase the range of careers available in manufacturing, as well as dispelling some of the myths around working in a factory. We’re really proud to be involved in this project, as we believe it’s important to ensure that our young people are aware of all the amazing career options right here in Pendle.”

The films are now ready to roll these out in classrooms across Pendle after being trialled at schools and events involving business and council leaders, headteachers and pupils. For booking enquiries, contact In-Situ paul@in-situ.org.uk