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Heritage Trail brings historic zone to life

A new app will help Middlesbrough visitors step their way to fitness - on a series of fun treasure trails for the whole family.

Lockdown saw many residents explore our area like never before during their daily exercise. Now a number of treasure trails have been designed on the Huntee app to tap into the trend.

Walkers can clock up steps in a way that interests them, including through Middlesbrough's parks and historic quarter.

Mayor Andy Preston set out his intention for step-counted trails across the town after his election - and the new historic trail is part of that work. It takes in the town centre and Middlehaven features a number of notable sites with proud histories.

Peter Hinton from Peter Hinton Design, Mike O'Reilly from Middlesbrough Environment City, Dr Tosh Warwick of Heritage Unlocked, and Cllr Mieka Smiles, Executive member for Culture & Communities

And those completing the full trail will get in plenty of steps - the route is approximately 2.5 miles.

It visits the former homes of ironmasters, the national acclaimed Arts and Crafts Webb House building and a number of regenerated historic buildings.

The trail is a collaboration between Heritage Unlocked, Middlesbrough Council, Huntee and Middlesbrough Environment City.

The mobile phone-based treasure hunt has been developed by Heritage Unlocked and Peter Hinton Design.

The trail uses the Huntee app and asks those taking part questions on the town's heritage. Players will be prompted by clues such as markers, plaques and information boards.

The app presents awards and badges for correct answers. It also features digital highlights from the collections of Middlesbrough Libraries and Teesside Archives.

A downloadable guide will also be available in other formats, including print.

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture & Communities, said: "The trail is a brilliant reminder of the fascinating history we have around town.

"I learned so much and the app is a fun way of finding out more about the gems that people see every day.

"People can combine a good walk with learning about Middlesbrough's rich past. It's perfect for the times we find ourselves in as families are spending more time outdoors to get socially distanced exercise.

"I can't wait to see how we can develop this further, and I hope it will bring people into the town centre and boost culture and business."

Heritage Unlocked's Dr Tosh Warwick said: "We have developed a new easy-to-use and engaging interactive trail that uses heritage to inspire local people and visitors to explore the town in an active and healthy way.

"As well as aiding new understanding of the Middlesbrough's past in an entertaining way, the new trails will help local businesses and culture by attracting visitors to the town centre and encouraging visits to galleries, Middlesbrough Central Library, museums and Teesside Archives when it is safe for them to reopen."

There are also plans to develop other themed trails in and around the town, including a ‘Leisure and Pastimes' and a ‘Retro Shopping Trip' trail taking in renowned locations and brands past and present.

The first Middlesbrough Heritage Huntee can be accessed via the My Huntee website.

Pictured: Peter Hinton from Peter Hinton Design, Mike O'Reilly from Middlesbrough Environment City, Dr Tosh Warwick of Heritage Unlocked, and Cllr Mieka Smiles, Executive member for Culture & Communities

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