A professor from the University of Northampton has contributed to the development of a new app, which explores the history of Rushden.
Matthew McCormack, Professor of History, has been involved with the project run by Nenescape, a £5 million scheme that celebrates the heritage, culture and ecology of the Nene Valley.
‘All Aboard for Rushden!’ is a mobile phone app that has been designed to encourage use of the East Northamptonshire Greenway, a cycle path that links the town centre to the new Rushden Lakes shopping development. It aims to encourage people young and old to engage in physical activity, use sustainable transport and discover new things about the history of the town. It also seeks to encourage users of Rushden Lakes to visit Rushden itself. It therefore hopes to contribute to the regeneration of the town.
The free app is now available in app stores and launches in Rushden on Sunday as part of the Nene Valley Festival, which takes place across the region between Saturday 15 and Sunday 23 September. There was a successful pre-launch of the app at Rushden Transport Museum on Thursday 6 September, which was attended by businesses, community groups and representatives.
The app uses Artcodes technology, which allows users to scan pictures in order to link to content, in a similar way to a QR code. When users find the images along the Greenway, they link to pages that tell the story of the town.
“The project is based around a railway theme as the Greenway used to be a railway,” explains Prof McCormack. “The various ‘stops’ along the way reveal interesting stories about famous residents of Rushden. This is a fun way for young people, in particular, to get out and about and to find out about the history of their town.”
Prof McCormack provided historical advice to the project and contributed to the app’s content.
Nenescape is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the University of Northampton is a major partner for the bid. The University’s new Waterside Campus is located on the river Nene and its staff and students are involved across Nenescape’s 16 project strands.
Prof Jeff Ollerton, who leads the project for the University, said: “Nenescape is a really important project for the staff and students to be involved with. It links our institution to the wider historical and environmental heritage of Northamptonshire, and also enables us to extend the reach of our Changemaker values.”