Creative Destinations & Interpretation

An award-winning tourism and digital consultancy delivering strategy, planning and implementation of visitor experiences and digital solutions


Sion Stables

Sion Stables
Sion Stables

Sion Mills in County Tyrone is a small village beside the River Mourne with a huge heritage. Many of the distinctive Arts and Crafts style buildings throughout the town have been there since the Herdman family settled in the village and built their world-renowned mill over 170 years ago.

Oli had the pleasure of working with Sion Mills Buildongs Preservation Trust’s (SMBPT) appointed project manager to create an interactive, multi-media visitor experience on engaging and fun to use interpretive technology such as page turn designed touchscreens, app and fully interactive signage. That’s right – just hold your device over the panels in the village to unlock video footage of the workers walking along Mill Avenue and into the mill – all with no need for a wi-fi connection.

From the start, the SMBPT was adamant that this project would be industry leading, delivering a world-class heritage trail that would guide visitors to all of the key historical sites in Sion Mills either with a local tour guide of an iOS app.

Oli’s team set to work, consulting with members of the community and local tour guides, gathering an astonishing volume of content to support the design of a multi-media trail with a strong personalised and localised feel. An award winning iOS app has been developed with easy to use industry leading features such as augmented reality, image recognition and geo fencing throughout the trail delivering the content seamlessly to the visitor.

This app is complimented by a suite of interpretive panels, installed at four key locations around the village adding further depth to the visitor experience. App users are able to select the augmented reality feature on their app and engage with the signage to unlock additional video content.

As skilled interpretators it was vital for the Oli team that the new visitor experience at Sion Stables engaged with as broad a demographic of visitor as possible, we therefore ensured that as much content was accessible by traditional means as possible including the interpretive panels and a full suite of printed promotional materials. 

Local food experience – from 1861

As our team was cataloguing the vast wealth of historic content belonging to members of the SMBPT, a hand written cookbook dating from 1861 was uncovered. With 2016 announced as the Year of Food it was as obvious opportunity. Oli digitized the cookbook and has created an interactive digital version using page turn technology installed on a freestanding touch screen kiosk in the restaurant.

This cookbook is further enhanced by notes and annotations from local chef Paula McIntyre, bringing social and historical context to the selected recipes.This rich content is joined by traditional visitor servicing content, including links to local amenities, transport, activities etc. We are thrilled that SMBPT identified Oli as a suitable partner to work with in achieving their ambitious goals and has fully endorsed the project management and product delivery within the tightest of timescales.

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