After winning £5,000 in prize money from the National Lottery Awards in September 2018, the Heritage Ability (HA) team are planning to use the money to fund an exciting new project. The project aims to help partner heritage sites to develop and deliver 360º degree images and films to make to enhance the accessibility of their sites.

The decision comes after several months of discussions with our panel of volunteers (with lived experience of disability), to decide on a good way to spend the prize money.

The £5,000 prize money will be used to purchase a 360º degree camera and two virtual reality headsets, as well as providing training for the HA team. This is all being delivered in collaboration with Soundview Media, a local firm who specialise in the creation of 360º degree virtual reality footage.

The new 360º degree footage can help provide virtual access to areas that may not be made physically accessible, such as mines or caves. It can also be used to provide a more comfortable environment for autistic people or people with learning difficulties to be more involved in the heritage of the site.

The Virtual Heritage project will allow partner heritage sites to be trained in the use of the equipment and use it to create their own exciting virtual tours. 

Gareth Allen, Managing Director of Soundview Media stated: “It’s fantastic to be able to use this state of the art immersive technology to enable virtual access for people with reduced mobility and other disabilities. 

“In collaboration with the Heritage Ability team, we’re combining this tech and our expertise in film-making to “virtually” bash down existing physical barriers. In doing so, we hope to help improve visitor experiences to some of the partner heritage sites.”   

Heritage Ability is the creation of Living Options Devon, a local user-led charity, where all of their initiatives are developed or supported by people who have a first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by disabled and Deaf people. 

Diana Crump, CEO from Living Options Devon stated: “The new Virtual Heritage Project is an incredible development for us, allowing Heritage Ability to add another fantastic product to our tool kit to help make more sites accessible today and into the future.”

Partner sites include: Arne, Botallack, Castle Drogo, Cockington County Park, Dean Heritage Centre, Durlston Country Park, Geevor Tin Mine, Goldophin, Hopewell Colliery, Kents Cavern, Killerton, Levant Mine, Lulworth Cove, Lundy Island, Moors Valley Country Park, National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Prior Park, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Seaton Jurassic, Seaton Tramway, Seaton Wetlands and Wheal Martyn.

To find out more about Heritage Ability, visit You can also email the team at or call 01392 459222. Or follow us on: FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Heritage Ability is looking for disabled people and Deaf people to get involved with the project. For more information about volunteering opportunities, visit the website or get in touch with the team.

Living Options Devon is a registered charity (number 1102489) working across the South West to ensure that people with disabilities and Deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL) can live the lives they choose.

To find out more, visit