Funding has been secured to build a cutting-edge extended reality lab in Bury St Edmunds for students across Suffolk.

The Eastern Colleges Group (ECG) has secured £2million funding from the Office for Students to create a world-leading Extended Reality (XR) facility.

Set to launch at the start of the next academic year, the XR lab will be built in the University Studies at West Suffolk College building on Western Way, Bury St Edmunds.

East Anglian Daily Times: The XR lab will offer Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies for students across Suffolk.The XR lab will offer Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies for students across Suffolk. (Image: Windsor Patania Architects)

Current ECG members are Abbeygate Sixth Form College, West Suffolk College and University Studies based in Bury St Edmunds and One Sixth Form College in Ipswich.

Each of these schools are hoping to provide students with innovative teaching and learning methods to ensure they are prepared for growing business needs and technological advances.

Dr Nikos Savvas, chief executive of Eastern Colleges Group, said: "This is an incredibly exciting time for us as educators.

"We are looking to be the leading institution for Extended Reality education and neuro-diverse talent development for post-16 education within the UK.

"This ambitious project will give students exceptional opportunities and will also offer businesses unique opportunities in training and collaboration."

Phase one of the building works will see the facility incorporate remote access into each of the rooms, including a fully immersive lecture theatre with wall-to-wall screens, immersive sound, video and motion capture studios.

This will elevate the current remote teaching methods in place, allowing students to become fully immersed with their colleagues and teachers while remaining close to home.

Alongside aiming to create new opportunities for students, the XR lab will also be used to provide training from industry partners.

UK-based architectural practice Windsor Patania Architects is developing the design of the facility.

Development director and co-founder Ryan Windsor said: "At Windsor Patania, we're keen to integrate cutting-edge technology like this into our architectural services.

"Fascinated by the technology, our team was thrilled to earn the opportunity to help deliver the XR Lab vision."