The town of Crewe is to be re-created in Minecraft as part of a new educational and research project, part-funded and delivered by Cheshire East Council.
The Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Young Roots’ programme has awarded £26,000 to fund the project, which is being delivered by Cheshire East Council’s cultural economy team, Cheshire Archives, Crewe Town Council, public libraries and the Crewe History Society. The money is raised by National Lottery players.
Minecraft is a digital software programme, which has captured the imagination of young people who access the computer game to develop their creative and digital skills.
Young people will get the chance to take part in a series of workshops to re-create Crewe’s historic buildings in three-dimensional digital formats.
Through Minecraft, young people will learn about the history of the town as they reconstruct the designs of old buildings and landmarks within digital worlds.
It will bring together history, heritage, architecture and digital design in one exciting and fun learning experience.
Cheshire East Council deputy leader David Brown said: “There will be a series of workshops running through until August and we hope to involve around 900 young people.
“It will enable them to become engaged in the history of Crewe town centre, while taking part in a fascinating educational project.”
Workshops will take place in at Crewe Library together with a number of public events, including the Crewe’s Traction Festival in July.
The whole project is encompassed within the council’s SHIFT programme, which celebrates and promotes digital learning, skills and development across the borough for all age groups.
Those participating will develop strong team-working abilities and communication skills, while library staff will also learn new digital skills through the Minecraft map.
Sessions and workshops for young people in groups of 10 – 12, will take place at Crewe Library through to August and there will be five days of public events, incorporating four workshops each day during holiday periods.
These will be in addition to sessions involving two local schools and up to120 pupils.
Completed maps and resources, including photographs, video and archive material, will go on display at Crewe Library in December.