The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, has congratulated the creators of the Sion Stables Heritage Trail APP after the company picked up the award for ‘Best Travel & Tourism APP’ category at the all-Ireland 2015 APPYs Awards in Dublin.

The awards celebrate the very best innovations in technology and the app beat off competition from companies including Board Failte and Digital i3 Ltd to scoop the accolade.

Mayor McCallion praised the Sion Stables team who, in conjunction with Oli, developed the free app which is geared towards promoting local heritage.

“I am delighted to see local organisations creating the tools needed to effectively promote the area and make the history of the district more accessible for visitors. Sion Mills has some fascinating areas of historic interest and this new app will be a fascinating resource for visitors from both home and abroad.”

The Sion Stables Heritage Trail App lets users delve deeper into the history of the Village of Sion Mills, taking them on a guided tour of key sites, retelling the story of 170 years of linen production and the life of the people who worked and lived there. Using augmented reality codes the APP unlocks video content from days gone by at each of the interpretative panels around the Village.

Francis Hood, Project Manager at Sion Stables, said they hoped to use the technology to enhance the visitor experience in the area. “I had a clear vision of what I wanted to create. With the talent and skill of local heritage and digital consultancy company Oli I knew we could deliver an unforgettable visitors experience that is innovative and fully immersive.

“We were passionate about taking the visitors’ experiences to the next level, and it is great to be recognised for doing just that in being awarded the Appy for ‘Best Travel & Tourism APP.’ Special thanks must go to the Heritage Lottery Fund and The NIEA Challenge Fund whose funding made this possible.”

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