Express & Star

VR experience to open at Grand Central

The world’s most advanced virtual reality experience Sandbox VR is set to open at Bullring and Grand Central in Birmingham this summer.

Sandbox VR players

The 13,000 sq ft unit in the Grand Central mall will be the brand’s third location in Europe and first outside of London

Sandbox VR will be an immersive experience within exclusively designed interactive worlds, making players feel like they are living inside a game or a movie.

It uses a new generation of HollSandbox VR Birmingham will also include the brand’s robotic bartender ‘Toni’ shaking, stirring and serving up to 80 drinks per hour.

Dan Murphy, general manager at Bullring & Grand Central, said: “What a great way to start the New Year. We’re thrilled to welcome Sandbox VR to our growing line-up of experiential destinations at Bullring and Grand Central as the centre quickly becomes a new entertainment hub for the city. This is just the first of many new concepts we have lined up for 2023.”

Jake Wilmot-Sitwell, co-founder and chief operating officer at Sandbox VR UK and Ireland, commented: “Following our successful launch in Covent Garden last year, we wanted to kick off our expansion across the UK and Ireland by launching the biggest ever Sandbox VR site in the UK’s second city. As the West Midlands’ best-connected retail and leisure destination, Bullring & Grand Central is the ideal location to launch our second UK site, and we are eager to bring our mind-expanding adventures to this amazing market.”

This year will also see the launch of two new leisure operators at Bullring and Grand Central – boutique bowling brand, Lane7, and the world’s first interactive football experience, TOCA Social, complementing Treetop Adventure Golf.

The much-anticipated Marks & Spencer, JD Sports and Tessuti stores will also open at the centre this year.

The announcement comes after Hammerson recently announced its vision to transform the former department store at Grand Central into 200,000 sq ft of wellbeing-designed offices with provision for new restaurant, leisure and wellbeing space.