A digital “safari” has been launched to revive shops, get families back into Dundee City Centre, and raise funds for the NHS.
The story trail allows users to search for 10 “monster heroes” using a smartphone. Once all are found a free e-book will be unlocked.
The safari works by using contactless NFC technology and QR codes, without the need for players to download or sign up to anything.
More than 100 towns and cities across the UK are taking part in the MonsterHero Safari project, which has been sponsored by Wild in Art, with the aim of raising more than £100,000 for NHS Charities Together.
Councillor Alan Ross, convener of City Development, said: “As Dundee emerges from lockdown, we are keen to help local businesses and attract families to our city centre.
“The safari is designed to get people involved with local outlets who have reopened. We can’t have a large event because of obvious safety restrictions, but this trail will allow families to enjoy a fun time out.
“I would encourage families to take part and rediscover our city centre as a great place to be.”
Separately, the city council is working on a number of other initiatives that are designed to attract families and shoppers back to the centre.
These include a poster take over, artworks brightening up vacant shop windows, street painting and shop window trails.
Last week, Union Street was closed to traffic to help improve business for outlets as well as safety for shoppers as lockdown eases.
The temporary move, which is being funded through the Scottish Government’s Spaces for People fund, is being put into place as shops reopen and restrictions on pubs and cafes are loosened.
The city’s UNESCO City of Design team will be helping to co-ordinate the decoration of street furniture in Union Street to try and create a fresh feel for the newly pedestrianised area.
Pubs and restaurants across the city have also been assisted by a specially-formed team the council’s planning department, who have been supporting efforts to create outside space for customers.
Coordinating the national project is Martin Blackwell, former CEO of ATCM (Association of Town and City Management) and the Charity Retail Association who said: “When I heard about the concept it just resonated with me and I knew I had to support it.
“I loved the idea of heroes; the idea of a “safari on the high street”! I just thought, if something fun like this can help make families feel good about going back out onto the high street and raise money for such a worthy cause then let’s go for it.”
To learn more about the story-trail, go to www.monsterherosafari.com