Under the microscope with: Wirral Council

We wouldn’t have been able to set sail on our journey of creating the UK’s leading science and discovery centre for 6 – 14 year olds without the support of our partners.

Setting up home on the banks of the River Mersey facing the iconic Liverpool skyline brought with it the benefit of getting to know Wirral and most importantly, the lovely folks at Wirral Council.

The total budget to deliver Eureka! Science + Discovery is *deep breath* £11.29m and we’ve been fortunate enough to receive funding from a number of strategic partners, including Wirral Council.

We’ve been delighted to have their local knowledge, ambitious vision and unwavering support since we first began discussions with them.

We’re really excited to be making a positive contribution to the local community in Seacombe and giving tourists yet another reason to travel “over the water” and explore what’s on offer. Eureka! Science + Discovery will also be a crucial element of the large scale regeneration underway on the Left Bank of the River Mersey.

Here, we chat with someone who has been involved in developing this project since the early days, and whose support has been instrumental in getting us to where we are today…

Q: Who are you and what do you do?

A: I’m Alan Evans and I’m the Director of Regeneration and Place at Wirral Council. My job involves overseeing projects and developments that make Wirral a great place to live, work and visit. This includes one of the UK’s largest regeneration schemes, the Left Bank of the Mersey, which is where Eureka! Science + Discovery will be based.

Q: How did the council first get involved in Eureka?

A: We were asked to meet with Eureka! at the very beginning before Wirral had been confirmed as the location for the new site. We already knew about Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax because of its unparalleled reputation as an attraction tailor-made for young, curious minds, so we were definitely interested to hear their ideas and find out more about what an attraction like this could mean for the area.

Q: What inspired Wirral Council to get involved in the project?

A: Initial discussions about the potential of a project were taking place around the same time as we were starting to form plans for regenerating the Left Bank and making the most of its incredible waterfront. The timing of this was impeccable as Eureka! Science + Discovery will be opening in this very spot at the Seacombe Ferry Terminal.

The chance to get involved in this project was an unmissable opportunity to bring a game-changing attraction to Wirral which aligned perfectly with our ambitions for the area. It will be an inspirational place for children and young people to play and learn, it will create new jobs for our residents and bring thousands of new visitors to our brilliant borough every year.

We knew we had to do everything we could to support the project and make it happen.

Q: What has been Wirral’s involvement in the project so far? What will this look like moving forward?

A: Wirral Council has supported Eureka! Science + Discovery in a number of ways. We contributed towards funding at an early stage to help secure the project and supported Eureka! in attracting millions of pounds of essential funding from other sources like the Inspiring Science Fund and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.

We loved hearing Eureka!’s plans to get local children involved in the co-creation of the exhibits, giving them the unique opportunity to feed into the attractions they’ll be able to enjoy inside. We helped to connect Eureka! with schools, The Hive Youth Zone and local businesses in the area, which has given 120 of our younger Wirral residents some unforgettable experiences like testing wind speeds on New Brighton beach!

Eureka! has been a fantastic partner to work with and we’re looking forward to continuing to support the project beyond its opening and into the future.

Q: What has been the best part about getting stuck into the project for you personally?

A: It’s always rewarding when you work on a project which has the level of support that bringing Eureka! Science + Discovery to Seacombe does. It’s been fantastic seeing all the hard work starting to come together now that the work is underway on site but of course, I can’t wait to see the first visitors going through the doors.

Q: What are you looking forward to when the attraction opens?

A: It will be great to see our children and young people getting hands-on in there, and how that experience could inspire them to go on to pursue a career in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths) subjects. The potential for those visits to create the next generation of scientists, engineers and so on, is really exciting.

Looking ahead to the future, Eureka! Science + Discovery is one of a number of projects which form a wider plan to transform the waterfront into a leading visitor destination. In fact, Eureka! Science + Discovery alone is set to attract over 187,000 visitors each year. I’m looking forward to seeing that ambition becoming a reality in the years to come, with the vital role that Eureka! Science + Discovery will play in that and knowing that we helped to make it happen.

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