The John Summers Clock Tower in Deeside was once at the heart of the community, serving as the Shotton steelworks general offices until 2009 when it was sold.
After its sale, it has since sat empty, falling victim to vandalism, and sadly falling into a state of significant disrepair. In order to preserve this Grade II listed building, local interest groups highlighted the buildings’ plight.
The Enbarr Foundation, a non-profit organisation, took up the mantle of working to preserve the Clock Tower, and are currently working towards their vision of restoring it to its former glory. The long term plans for the building, after the restoration project, include developing it into a community space for future generations to enjoy. With the aim of including a heritage skills centre and training, the team behind this project are aiming to rediscover lost crafts and trades and nurture local talents.
It became apparent that in order to raise awareness and support of the project, the Clock Tower needed a more significant online presence. After seeing an online platform by Aspire 2Be (A2B) for an international construction firm to showcase women in the construction industry, Enbarr approached the A2B team to discuss what options were available in order to achieve this. Andries Pretorius, who has recently been appointed as A2B’s Business Psychology and Innovation lead, was the ideal candidate to head up this project having previously built the construction platform.
The project consisted of two main objectives; firstly to create a virtual platform allowing stakeholders, members of the public, and foundation staff to have 360 degree views of the inside of the building prior to the main renovation being started. Progress is then captured allowing for like for like comparison giving viewers a unique perspective of the incredible effort staff and volunteers are putting into the project. The virtual tour not only includes the visual experience, but also hosts space for information, links and further virtual resources, making it a wholly interactive experience.
Secondly, A2B were also commissioned to work on other digital projects, in order to help them unlock new opportunities using their digital platforms. These are currently under development, with work going on to ensure the branding remains consistent whilst also ensuring content is engaging and accessible.
Speaking about the project, Andries commented, “It really has been great to see first hand the incredible potential the site has to become a huge asset for everyone in the Deeside community. More than that however, I have been blown away by the response of volunteers backed by local business partners who pulled together despite the Covid-19 pandemic to give their time and immense effort to return the Clock Tower to its former glory”.Thanks to the immense hard work of volunteers Enbarr recently received additional funding for the continued development of the site. You can view the site here.