North West-based science centres have received millions in funding through the Inspiring Science Fund, a joint initiative by Wellcome and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to help attract new visitors and inspire the next generation of science enthusiasts.
The centres, Eureka! Mersey and Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, succeeded in their applications for funding by presenting plans to connect with audiences and communities that don’t currently visit science centres or engage with learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“We want to bring the wonders of science to as wide an audience as possible and that’s why it is at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy,” said science minister Sam Gyimah. “Today’s investment in the North West will help inspire people to learn about the truly amazing benefits that science and technology has on all our lives.”
“At Wellcome we focus on people, and our public engagement activity is about helping everyone to play their own role in improving health,” explained Simon Chaplin, director of Culture & Society, Wellcome. “The Inspiring Science Fund enables science centres across the country to bring science, health and research closer to public. We’re looking forward to seeing how the successful centres develop and how they use this funding to involve ever more people in science in a way that is relevant and useful to their own lives.”
Eureka! Mersey, which is due to open in 2021, will offer young visitors bespoke and exciting experiences in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. This centre will receive £3 million in funding.
The Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes is set to receive £754,600 in funding and will explore new thinking around the relationship between science and wellbeing, developing new spaces and exhibits which will aim to inspire a future generation of scientists across the region.