AN OTLEY firm believes it has created the UK’s ‘first interactive 3D town’.

Apollo3D uses the latest technology to help promote places by creating in-depth ‘virtual locations’ for potential visitors to look around.

Its work on Otley has seen it scan and capture a large section of the town. The resulting interactive map allows visitors to its website to enjoy detailed tours - including aerial shots and structural insights - of landmarks including the Parish Church and local pubs.

The firm won the Best Newcomer title at this year’s Otley Business Awards, and says it undertook the project as a way of town as a way of ‘giving something back’.

Owner and founder Mark Shepherd said: “We are passionate about using the latest 3D technology to support businesses and putting locations in the digital shop window to attract both footfall and custom.

“We have created, not only, the UK’s first 3D shop window, but also the first one globally.

“It is no secret that our retail and leisure sector, particularly in small towns, is under pressure from the online world. So why not use our technology to support awareness and improve interest in our small towns’ pub and shops?

“With our 3D technology we even have the benefit of capturing a moment in time for some of Otley’s historic and irreplaceable buildings.”

The move has been welcomed by local businesses. Chair of Otley BID, Tom Hartley, said: “We welcome this innovative way to take a look around our town.

“We have so many wonderful businesses and the 3D map of Otley allows you to plan your visit and make the most of your trip.”

Otley Pub Club, meanwhile, has hailed it as a ‘fantastic’ way of promoting the town. President Greg Mulholland said: “Apollo3D are allowing people all over the country and the world to see Otley in 3D, including Otley’s famous pubs, which is a fantastic way of promoting trade and tourism.

“Everyone is aware of the challenges facing our high streets and this is a fantastic way of allowing towns like Otley to be showcased online.

“It’s also great that Apollo3D have produced internal tours of many of the pubs which, alongside the Historic Otley Ale Trail, we hope will help encourage more people to visit them from all over the country and enhance Otley’s reputation as a famous pub town.”

Apollo3D works locally, nationally and internationally and has completed projects for clients including pub retailer and brewer Greene King, Leeds City Council, Harrogate Lifestyle Apartments Ltd, The Mill Bar Bistro and Buon Apps restaurant, as well as most of Otley’s inns.

The 3D tour of Otley can be taken at .