Phone app for heritage trail

Smartphone technology is planned to make a new heritage trail for Sleaford fully interactive. EMN-160428-172323001
Smartphone technology is planned to make a new heritage trail for Sleaford fully interactive. EMN-160428-172323001

A new heritage trail for Sleaford, involving the Civic Trust, is taking shape to boost the area’s attraction to tourists.

Sleaford and District Civic Trust is developing a ‘Heart of Sleaford Heritage Trail’, which will take the form of English Heritage style plaques on selected buildings in the town.

Vice-chairman of the Civic Trust, Christopher Hodgson, explained each plaque will incorporate a QR (quick response) code and a NFC (near field communication) chip.

“Tapping the plaque with an NFC enabled smartphone or scanning the QR code will link to a mobile friendly website,” he said.

The display on the smartphone will have three buttons: VIDEO (linking to an audio visual presentation relating to the property); TEXT (linking to the text of the presentation and details of the heritage trail); and NEXT (linking to a map of the trail with directions to the next site).

The video content would have commentary by an actor representing a previous occupant of the building.

Mr Hodgson explained the idea was not entirely new but he didn’t think all of this had been put together elsewhere in a single project.

Mr Hodgson said: “There’s a long way to go to deliver this but we are making steady progress on a daily basis.”

Other local organisations may be involved and it may combine with the heritage art trail due to be installed in June by artsNK. Mr Hodgson also wants to use additional audio visual material for an interpretive centre in the town.