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  • Writer's pictureBeth Wardell

A new digital experience to improve visitor access to Hadrian’s Wall.

The winners of the Digital Challenge delivered by the Rural Design Centre Innovation Project, have been announced. In this blog post we share who the winner of the Digital Challenge is and what this means for visitors to Hadrian's Wall.

And the winners are...

The challenge came to a close on Thursday 19th January, where each of the shortlisted businesses who had taken part, were invited to pitch their idea to the judging panel. The judges then had the hard task of deciding on a winner.

Working collaboratively, Venture Stream X MAADigital have been selected as winners for their concept of a geolocation trail-based app which, combined with a specialist, brand re-fresh and marketing campaign strategy is set to increase exposure and accessibility for Hadrian’s Wall.

Photo credit: Joshua Shrimpton-Dean, Newcastle Video Company

"Participants were posed with the question, ‘How do we make experiencing Hadrian’s Wall more accessible to more people, how do we share that story better?’. "

In September 2022, local digital businesses were invited to design and develop new, commercial products that would improve accessibility to Hadrian’s Wall – virtually, or in real life – through a series of workshops and innovative design thinking.

Participants were posed with the question, ‘How do we make experiencing Hadrian’s Wall more accessible to more people, how do we share that story better?’. The ambition of Hadrian’s Wall Digital Challenge was to inspire, engage, and showcase, regionally and nationally, the talent of digital businesses through supporting the design and development of innovative digital products to enhance the offer from the World Heritage Site.

With a varied range of businesses taking part, the judges had a hard time selecting their overall winner as the quality of submissions was so high.

Vicky Hunter, Account Manager at MAADigital said, “We are so pleased to be recognised as winners of this challenge, as we have seen and heard some amazing ideas from the other participants.”

Adele Robinson, Creative Director at Venture Stream added, “We met during the first workshop for this challenge and quickly realised that our goals aligned, and we were keen to collaborate to combine both aspects of our individual business knowledge to develop a concept that would be beneficial to the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership and celebrating our gorgeous countryside and attractions is something we are both so passionate about”.

John Scott, World Heritage Site Management Plan Co-ordinator said, on behalf of the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership: “So many great ideas and concepts have been cultivated to really make the most of the wall. And to help people discover the less known areas, making those accessible virtually and mapping out the length of the wall for those wanting to walk it is astounding. We are pleased to work with Venture Stream X MAADigital to bring this idea to life and share the Hadrian’s wall story further and further on a digital platform.”

The Rural Design Centre Innovation Project, a collaboration between Advance Northumberland, Innovation SuperNetwork and Northumbria University, have worked alongside participants of this challenge, supporting them throughout the design thinking process to generate, test and develop their great ideas which use cutting edge digital media to not only tell the story of Hadrian’s Wall, but to showcase the creativity, ingenuity and quality of local digital businesses across the North of Tyne region.

Jeff Reid, vice Chair of Advance Northumberland, said, “The wall plays a key role within our tourism offer in Northumberland and any opportunity for us to make this more accessible is always welcomed. Being able to bring businesses from across our region together to work towards a solution is a fantastic example of a range of organisations working collaboratively for the good of our economy.”

If you would like to find out more about the workshops and challenges being delivered by the RDCIP please visit for more information.

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