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App Proposals Pave the Way For Future Promotion

Computing students at Derby College have devised proposals for a mobile app that would help raise the profile of Elvaston Castle and attract more visitors.

Elvaston Castle successfully applied to be part of a community project run by graduate trainees at Rolls-Royce. The visitor attraction was keen to know whether it would be feasible to create a mobile app as part of its marketing efforts and the graduates undertook a year-long study. 

They in turn launched a design competition for BTEC Level three students, based at the Joseph Wright Centre, to put forward their ideas for creating a mobile app. The winning proposals were created by College students Anbar Hussain (21) and Daniyal Azeen (20). Their proposals included interactive 3D timelines and maps, linking information boards around the grounds of Elvaston Castle with QR codes on the app, audio guided tours and virtual reality video. 

Anbar, from Littleover, who has her sights set on a career in computer software development, said: “I have visited Elvaston Castle many times so was really keen to get involved in this project. 

“We focused on making the mobile app simple and particularly attractive for a younger audience.” 

Daniyal, from Normanton, is planning to go to university after College and wants to work in digital marketing. He said: “It was great to have a live project with client feedback and this was very good work experience.” 

Rolls-Royce graduate trainee Jay Chinchen continued: “The students and particularly the winning team came up with some very good ideas for how a mobile app could be developed. 

“We are now presenting these as part of the wider feasibility study to Elvaston Castle and hopefully they will be in a position to take this forward in the future.” 

Gill Forrester, Estates Manager at Elvaston Castle, concluded: “The Rolls-Royce graduate trainees’ feasibility study and the work that Derby College students have done will enable us to decide the way forward with developing our market and whether a mobile app would be worth pursuing. 

“We are particularly looking at ways to attract more young people here so involving the College students was the ideal route.” 

Elvaston Castle Country Park encompasses approximately 321 acres of open parkland, woodland and more formal historical gardens which are Grade II* listed and also have a Green Flag Award for its quality green-space provision. At the heart of the estate lies Elvaston Castle, a gothic revival masterpiece (not open to the public) designed by James Wyatt in the early 1800s based on the original house dating back to 1633. 

Wyatt's design, built for the third Earl of Harrington, became home to the Stanhope family until the estate was sold by the then Earl of Harrington to us in 1968. In 1970 the estate was opened as one of the first country parks in England and today both the buildings and gardens are registered (Grade 2 and Grade 2*) as being of special architectural and historical interest. 

In addition, within the estate, structures such as the recently renovated golden gates, Moorish temple and ha ha wall provide a fascinating glimpse of the past. The gardens are locally renowned for their rockwork structures and fine examples of topiary, originally introduced and designed by William Barron in the 19th century.

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