Covid-19: Virtual entertainment from Liverpool ONE

Shopping centre Liverpool ONE has launched a 'virtual enlivenment programme' to help entertain the local community during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The centre, run by Grosvenor Europe, typically runs a series of events throughout the year to entertain visitors and drive footfall. In response to research showing a sense of interest and focus can help to improve people's mood and give an enhanced sense of wellbeing, the group has created a set of virtual experiences that can be enjoyed via social media.

Dinosaurs Unleashed – originally created as a physical event to excite visitors to the centre – has been recreated as a virtual attraction to play in homes and gardens. The 'home edition' of the initiative is free, and allows budding palaeontologists to be virtually transported back to the Jurassic era. Here they can hatch dinosaur eggs, feed and interact with the beasts, and battle other dinosaur fans online. Activation markers can be printed via the app and hidden around homes and gardens, while online park rangers can help gamers with tips, tricks, and dinosaur facts.

The Tickle the Ivories pianos – which are popular at Liverpool ONE during summer months, have been deployed online in a virtual festival shown on a dedicated YouTube channel. This is showing highlights of last year's busking programme, and allows established and budding musicians to upload their own clips.

“The evidence that people need to feel connected during the lockdown is overwhelming, and our stay-at-home virtual experiences have been launched to help achieve that,”said Grosvenor Europe director of asset management, Alison Clegg. “Dinosaurs Unleashed is already creating a sense of community online, while Tickle at Home is bringing a smile to people, proving we do not have to be isolated from one another, or the places we love, even in these difficult times.”