Wales’ much-loved educational charity Techniquest has unveiled ambitious fundraising targets as it sets its sights on radically transforming its science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay.
The 31-year old charity is on a mission to generate over £5m to fund The Science Capital — a project which encompasses an extension of its current building on Stuart Street and a repositioning exercise to extend and diversify its audiences.
Plans are being created to redevelop, redesign and transform Techniquest’s current building into a contemporary STEM hub, which will provide opportunities to develop visitors’ STEM skills and knowledge, increase everyday engagement with science and curiosity about science innovation.
The proposed extension will almost double Techniquest’s footprint, providing an additional 70% exhibition space to house brand new innovative content related to, and developed with, Welsh STEM innovators, academics and communities.
The space will be immersive and contemporary, delivering content through a combination of exhibitions, multimedia displays, programming and events, which will be refreshed and renewed on a continual basis in line with new scientific developments.
The expansion will allow the charity to diversify its audiences, increase visitor numbers by at least 30% and in turn generate additional income through increased admissions.
The new space will also be developed with the dual purpose of accommodating large corporate and private events, increasing income further to ensure financial sustainability.
Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest said: “As a country, Wales has clear aspirations for the contribution that STEM can bring to the economy and science education is critical if we are to inspire and nurture our next generation of scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Evidence suggests that Welsh students are falling behind their UK and European counterparts in terms of science test results and the number of students choosing STEM subjects at a higher level.
“We know that science centres are recognised internationally as having a significant impact on public understanding and confidence with science and so Techniquest has a huge role to play in addressing these issues.
“However, Techniquest is the oldest and one of the smallest science centres in the UK and we will only be able to achieve our mission by radically transforming our current site.
“We have ambitious plans to expand our science discovery centre and extend our offering to make science accessible to all and inspire the public to think differently about STEM.
“We have really exciting plans to put Techniquest at the centre of the STEM sector in Wales but we still have a long way to go to make our aspirations a reality.”
The proposed transformation of Techniquest requires £5.6m, of which over £2m has already been pledged.
“We have already garnered a lot of support from some very generous funders, who we are totally indebted to. It is immensely important to us to know that they back our plans and we are confident that we will be able to generate the remaining funds to transform and revitalise Techniquest, boosting our relevance and appeal and impact on the Welsh economy.”