A £7.6m immersive technology hub launched in Plymouth places the city “and the South West even more firmly on the cultural and technological map”, according to the chair of Arts Council England.

Sir Nicholas Serota, who was speaking at the opening of the Grade II listed Market Hall in Devonport, Plymouth, said the “world class space” would have “local people at its heart” as it prepared to welcome its first visitors.

Developed by Real Ideas Organisation, in partnership with Plymouth City Council and the Institute of Digital Art and Technology at University of Plymouth, the Market Hall is a £7.6m project which will create a new space for digital, especially those working in immersive and creative applications of technology.

Alongside cultural experiences and immersive opportunities in the Dome, the Market Hall will offer creative and collaborative workspace, learning, workshops, meeting rooms, event spaces, a production suite and a café/bar.

Serota said: “At the Arts Council, we are thrilled that the eagerly anticipated innovation space, the Market Hall, and the state-of-the-art immersive dome is now open. Since its inception the project has excited us with its digital ambitions and impressive regeneration of a disused historic building in Devonport. The Market Hall will use cutting- edge technology to create unique artistic experiences and opportunities for the community, placing Plymouth and the South West even more firmly on the cultural and technological map.

We applaud Real Ideas’ partnership working, approach to inclusivity, and their bold vision. This world-class space will play host to creative enterprises, educational institutes, and local businesses. Local people will be at its heart – encouraging creativity in the region, helping to support the local economy, and contributing to a sense of pride in Plymouth.

Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of Real Ideas, said: “The Market Hall really is a gamechanger, putting Plymouth and the South West of England on the map internationally as a place with an epic emerging tech cluster around immersive and creative digital. It is without a doubt our most audacious project to date. It is immediately relevant and offers untold opportunity as a place for jobs, research, development, exploration, learning, collaboration, economic development, and secondary economic benefits too. It’s also incredibly good fun.”