A CARLISLE business has reached out into another dimension and launched what’s been hailed as the county’s first virtual reality gaming arena.

The team at VR Gateway, by Portland Place in the city centre, have formed a new gaming and entertainment space which aims to appeal to gamers of all ages and abilities.

The business opened for the first time in the city on June 15.

Director Ian Irving, who is also the marketing and business development manager at VR Gateway, hailed the new addition as a ‘unique experience for gamers’, which aims to attract people from across the county to Carlisle.

He said: “VR Gateway is a virtual reality centre, the first of its kind in Cumbria, and we’ve got a whole range of experiences, including driving simulators to go on a variety of world-famous tracks.

“We’ve also got a lot of different standing room experiences in three by three metre booths, which can be used by multi-players or on their own.

“Those games can be music-based, using hand-to-eye co-ordination such as Beat Saber - which is light sabers used in time with the music, through to zombie survival - where multiple players can get involved.”

Ian added that the centre offers other interactive games for younger players, varying from under the sea, to space station-based activities.

“There’s nothing else like it in Cumbria.”

The VR business have also teamed up with the team at Red Herring Escape Rooms, who have moved out of their premises in Denton Holme, and into the ground floor space next-door to them in the city centre.

“Through this partnership, we are a location-based entertainment centre, which is one of its kind - not just for Carlisle but for the whole of Cumbria,” Ian continued.

A ‘substantial’ amount of work has also gone in to create an experience that suits all players of different abilities, and can also be used outside of the arena.

Rosie Duncan, a teacher at James Rennie School in Kingstown, told the News & Star: “I’ve devoted a bit of my time to come down and experience the VR, and see if it can be beneficial to our pupils with special needs.”