Cutting-edge technologies including 3D film, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality are powering a new immersive experience along the Yardman’s Trail in Belfast.

The Yardmen Trail AR Stories, developed by Ulster Touring Opera, celebrates the historic links between the Maritime Mile and east Belfast where many of Belfast Harbour’s dockworkers – or yardmen – used to live.

Visitors will be able to download a free augmented reality mobile app and experience local residents telling their stories about the area including Templemore Baths, Bridge’s Medical Centre and the Titanic Hotel.

Artist and former Harland and Wolff employee Colin H Davidson shares how he went from building ships to capturing the harbour through his art, which is on display in the Drawing Rooms at the Titanic Hotel. And Ronnie Jones, a swimmer who trained at Templemore Baths and represented Ireland at the 1958 Commonwealth Games, shares his story. 

The Yardman’s Trail AR Stories project is one of six prototypes funded by the £120,000 Belfast HUB-IN Challenge Fund which is being delivered by Belfast City Council’s City Innovation Office in partnership with the Maritime Belfast Trust to harness digital innovation to help animate and enrich the city’s Maritime Mile.

Councillor Tina Black, Ulster Touring Opera, and Jenna Crymble from the Maritime Belfast Trust Through co-creation sessions, Ulster Touring Opera is working with local residents to record stories and memories about different locations along the Yardman’s Trail using green screen technology. AI technology will transform this 2D footage into 3D film for the immersive augmented reality experience.

Project partners and support

This project has been supported by a range of organisations, community groups and businesses along the Maritime Mile.

  • EastSide Partnership
  • Local residents including storytellers Ronnie Jones, Catherine Roberts and Colin H Davidson
  • Belfast City Council’s City Innovation Office
  • Maritime Belfast Trust

More information

Find out more about the Belfast HUB-IN Challenge Fund at

Find out more about Belfast’s Maritime Mile at

The Belfast HUB-IN project is part of a €7.9 million European initiative that aims to transform historic urban areas through innovation and spread public benefits from urban regeneration. It’s funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 869429.