A £4 MILLION investment will turn the old bus depot into a ground-breaking, four storey facility which could put Colchester at the forefront of a global industry.

The investment from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and Colchester Council will bring a long-awaited project to fruition.

AIXR, a business originating in Colchester, now with worldwide connections will now occupy the old bus depot in Queen's Street.

The homegrown company hopes to share its knowledge and research with Colchester through education and providing training and upskilling while boosting the local economy.

The investment will see the city at the forefront of what will be the next big technological boom.


The funding will see the derelict building in Queen Street transformed into one of the first facilities in the UK built entirely for the purpose of Metaverse research.

The research conducted will fundamentally change our relationship with technology, from 2D into 3D.

The research will focus on three main areas which will revolutionise our interaction with technology and spill over into all industries, setting Colchester up to become a technological hub.

AIXR chief executive officer Daniel Colaianni, said: “This is just the foundation.


"This technology will power every business in the world. In ten years time, Colchester could be a powerhouse, leading this trend.

“This is integral to levelling Colchester up as a city. This technology will provide ground breaking growth and future opportunities for Colchester. The potentials are limitless.

“We want to work with local schools and organisations in order to boost growth and create a booming, sustainable local economy that will attract investment.”

The first area is Human Interface such as virtual reality, or augmented reality.


This area will focus on immersive computer generated environments, making alternate realities which we could not perceive, allowing us to interact with them as we would in the real world.

The second area is Decentralised Infrastructure, which will look at the way we pay for things, own and share digital assets.

This will allow for the creation of new economies. Mr Colaianni gave an example at the launch, looking at the purchase of a designer handbag.

Fashion firms will be looking to bring their experience from the physical to the digital also, making their designer handbag a digital asset as well as a physical one.

AIXR will look at how we can take the same handbag and wear it in videogames or show it off in a new immersive social media, making it a digital asset.


AIXR predicts this will spill into every industry.

This idea is still in its infancy stages, seen through the recent popularity of NFT’s, non-fungible tokens.

The third area of research is based on Connected Experience and altering social frameworks.

This area will look at advances within social media interactions and content creation.

Investment into this area will change storytelling and content consumption into an interactive experience.

It will also do the same with social media interactions, making interactions an immersive experience, potentially in virtual reality.

AIXR has more than 100 partners across 30 countries, these connections will be brought to Colchester, creating a potential for many new jobs.


Councillor Mark Cory, who helped attract the funding, said: “This will put us on the map.

"This will allow us to bring new industries into Colchester, showing it’s a great place to incubate businesses.

“I think this will bring in significant funds and boost the local economy to a great extent.

“AIXR has over 100 business partners, we would love to see some of those in Colchester. This investment will bring new investment and start up new businesses.

“This growing economy will put us much further forward than other towns and cities in the country, making us a very viable destination for future investment.”

The centre is set to open in 2024.

For more information on the new Queen Street facility, visit http://aixr.org/aixr-centre-for-immersive-innovation.

Read more: https://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/20234056.metaverse-company-create-jobs-colchester/