Gov to inject STEM centres with £13 million of funding

Science, technology, engineering and mathematic centres across the UK get cash boost to attract new visitors

The UK government will inject 13 million into six science centres across the country to help attract thousands of new visitors.

The six centres from Wales, Scotland and England were chosen after presenting a strategy for connecting with audiences who don't currently visit science centres or engage with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. 

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The hubs chosen were Catalyst in Widnes, Dundee Science Centre, Eureka! Mersey, Glasgow Science Centre, The National Space Centre in Leicester, and Techniquest in Cardiff who were visited by the Welsh secretary for state, Alun Cairns, following the announcement.

"Today's funding announcement is a welcome boost to many science centres across the UK, and I can't think of a worthier recipient than Techniquest in Cardiff Bay," said Cairns.

"This funding will allow Techniquest to leap forward in developing cutting-edge STEM technology, attracting some of Wales' sharpest science minds to take a lead role in developing our future society."

The science capital aims to extend Techniquest into a contemporary STEM hub and diversify its audiences. The centre will have innovative new content, developed with businesses and academics at the forefront of STEM and supported by a programme of community co-production, highlighting the role STEM technologies can have to shape the future of our society.

"We are over the moon to be awarded this funding," said Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest. "It is the culmination of over a year and a half of hard work from our talented team, who are extremely passionate about this next phase in our evolution.

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"It means that our plans to expand our science discovery centre and extend our offering to make science accessible to all can progress in earnest giving our charity a new lease of life while ensuring a sustainable and long-term future in Wales."

The government hope the new funding will have a positive impact on the long-term future of the whole of the UK by promoting interest in STEM to bridge the potential skills gap the country is predicted to be facing. According to the British Computing Society, the number of students studying for a computing GCSE could halve by 2020.

Picture: Shutterstock

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