Sandbox VR selects Birmingham’s Grand Central for biggest location to date
Hammerson has signed virtual reality experience Sandbox VR as part of plans to diversify the use of Grand Central through the addition of new brands, entertainment and experiential concepts.
Due to open this summer, the 13,000 square foot space will be the brand’s third location in Europe and largest to date as it focuses on expanding in the UK and Ireland.
Taking group virtual reality gameplay and competitive socialising to the next level, Sandbox VR aims to create a truly immersive experience within exclusively designed interactive worlds to make players feel like they are living inside a game or a movie. The Grand Central space will also feature Sandbox’s robotic bartender ‘Toni’, who can shake, stir and serve up to 80 drinks per hour.
Jake Wilmot-Sitwell, co-founder and chief operating officer at Sandbox VR UK & Ireland, said: “Following our successful launch in Covent Garden last year, we wanted to kick off our expansion across the UK and Ireland by launching the biggest ever Sandbox VR site in the UK’s second city. As the West Midlands’ best-connected retail and leisure destination, the Bullring Estate is the ideal location to launch our second UK site, and we are eager to bring our mind-expanding adventures to this amazing market.”
Bullring & Grand Central’s leisure line-up already includes Treetop Adventure Golf. Furthermore, boutique bowling brand Lane7 and interactive football experience TOCA Social are both set to open there this summer.
Hammerson has also recently announced that it will be creating a new office, social and entertainment district in the heart of Birmingham as part of a masterplan to redevelop the former John Lewis department store at Grand Central.
Toby Tait, director asset management at Hammerson, said: “The signing of Sandbox VR is another big leap forward in the diversification and repositioning of our Birmingham estate. This is going to be a transformative year for Bullring & Grand Central with experiential brands and innovative concepts that engage and excite our customers. We are being bolder and more ambitious in our approach as we work to create a truly multi-use destination that we and the city can be proud of.”
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