A state-of-the-art Extended Reality (XR) facility, regarded as the leading showcase in the UK, has been officially opened in Ayr.

Opened by Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise Ivan McKee MSP, the Aerospace Digital Visualisation Suite (ADVS) gives small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), free access to the very latest XR and digital visualisation technologies to help them grow their business in the aerospace and space sector.

Delivered by South Ayrshire Council, the ADVS facility is based within the Aeronautical Engineering Training Centre at Ayrshire College.

The project has been established following a successful bid to the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund (AMCF), led by South Ayrshire Council and its partners, which saw a total of almost £1.1 million being allocated from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and match funding by the Council.

Believed to be unique technology and equipment in Scotland, the ADVS enables engineering companies to innovate, develop skills and improve their productivity through the three main XR technologies of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR).

In officially opening the facility, Ivan McKee MSP said: “Through the ADVS, South Ayrshire will play a key role in supporting high growth Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), along with development of the sector, which are critical to achieving our National Strategy for Economic Transformation ambitions.”

Gavin Murray, Assistant Principal – Curriculum, Ayrshire College, added: “Ayrshire College is delighted to host the ADVS at our Aeronautical Engineering Training Centre in Ayr.

“We welcome the opportunity to support this unique initiative and its fascinating, state of the art technology. Ayrshire College has a strong heritage in providing training to our industry partners around Prestwick Aerospace and beyond, and the ADVS project demonstrates how working together we can further enhance the local offering that we collectively bring to the aerospace and space sector.”

The ADVS project will run until 2023, with its legacy being secured through the new Aerospace and Space Technology Applications Centre being developed at Prestwick.