Free interactive workshops for young gamers to help ‘build’ Selby in Minecraft have been announced for half term.
The Selby Block Party sessions are a fun way of encouraging children and young people to learn more about the heritage of their town and to let them to build buildings for their own version of Selby - imagining how they think Selby could look in the future, as well as how it looked in the past.
The sessions are part of the cultural programme for Selby’s High Street Heritage Action Zone, a four-year programme that will make the town’s historic centre an even more attractive and vibrant place for local people and visitors alike. Over the next few years much of the town centre will be created in Minecraft, but to begin with two important buildings, Selby Abbey and Abbot’s Staith, have been built by professional Minecrafters, Krash Labs, ready for children to add their own fantastic creations.
Councillor Chris Pearson said, “This is a great way to get young people to explore the history and heritage of Selby, especially while we’re all staying home because of Covid-19.
“This pilot will allow these buildings to be seen and explored as never before: they can exist over different time periods, their nooks and crannies can be discovered. Children will have a lot of fun exploring buildings they may never have been in and adding to the town centre – I hope we see everything from a Star Wars museum to a medieval banqueting hall.”
Krash Labs, who are based in Scarborough, are leading the workshops. They’ve worked from maps, plans and photographs, as well as drawing on the expertise from the heritage volunteers who help to care for them, to build the Grade I Listed Selby Abbey and Grade II* Listed and Scheduled Ancient Monument Abbot’s Staith.
As well as the Minecraft buildings the project will also 3D scan and embed a series of objects which tell the stories of Selby town. This includes a finial which was found during an archaeological dig at the Abbot’s Staith. Residents will shortly have an opportunity to vote on which objects they think should be included. Objects are from private collections, from Selby residents and from regional museum collections.
The project has been made possible by a grant from Historic England and funding by Selby District Council. The High Street Heritage Action Zones Programme is a nationwide initiative designed to secure lasting improvements to historic high streets for the communities who use them.
Jane Jackson from Historic England said: “Using Minecraft is an innovative way to engage young people about their unique and special local heritage. I can’t wait to see Selby Abbey and Abbot’s Staith recreated in the Minecraft universe.”
A You Tube tour round the Minecraft map is being made so non-Minecrafters can also see these buildings.
The workshops will take place on Thursday 18 February at 2pm – 4pm and Friday 19 February at 2pm – 4pm.
About High Streets Heritage Action Zones
Historic England is working with local people and partners through grant funding and sharing our skills to help breathe new life into high streets that are rich in heritage and full of promise - unlocking their potential and making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors. The High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme, backed by government funding, aims to help with the recovery of local high streets from regenerating historic buildings to helping to engage local communities through art and cultural projects.