A new national attraction in the Liverpool City Region designed to inspire children and young people to be curious about the science of themselves, their communities and the wider world in which we all live has taken a step closer to opening – with construction work now expected to begin early in 2021.
Despite the current uncertainty around coronavirus, the Eureka! Mersey team have spent lockdown working remotely with key partners to progress design and building plans. Five new conceptual images of the building have been released.
As a sister site of Eureka! the National Children’s Museum in Halifax, Yorkshire, Eureka! Mersey is rooted in an innovative process of co-creating its exhibits, visitor experience and programmes with local young people to ensure it is as relevant and fun as possible.
Due to open in 2022, the 2700 sqm future-thinking, interactive centre will occupy the old Spaceport on Wirral waterfront with part of the attraction also housed within the existing Seacombe ferry terminal, which will continue to operate via Merseytravel. Seven key project partners have been selected to help build, design and landscape its facilities and exhibition space, starting from early 2021. The work is expected to take a year.
Those behind the project now believe the attraction could prove even more pivotal as the UK plans its post-COVID-19 recovery.
Our Chief Executive Leigh-Anne Stradeski said: “We have been working hard during the current crisis to ensure the timeline for Eureka! Mersey stays on track. Giving young people the opportunity to explore, discover and think again about their futures seems ever more crucial now as the country looks for new ways to rebuild in the years and decades after this current pandemic.
“Eureka! Mersey was always due to be a space where young people can engage with, and learn about science and technology in a hands-on, fun and educational way. At a time when science is so important and with major global challenges ahead from both COVID-19 and climate change, Science Centres across the UK provide our regional cities and towns with crucial opportunities to access science in an approachable and engaging way, helping to inspire our next generation of scientists and engineers.
“The team at Eureka! are determined that Eureka! Mersey, alongside all the other exciting cultural attractions already in the area, will play a vital part in rebuilding the region’s visitor economy and future community resilience.”
She added: “We believe children and young people visiting our pioneering and cutting-edge spaces will think again about the options ahead of them, some of which they’d never have believed possible or achievable.
“We hope this will prove especially true for those living locally in Wirral, which is why we are designing this science and discovery attraction with their input and voices at its heart. When it opens, Eureka! Mersey will be the most visitor-led attraction in the UK.”
Eureka! Mersey has now gone through the first three stages of its design process for the exhibition space and the complex. Construction is due to start in early 2021 and take 12 months, with a public opening expected in 2022.
The site will be linked by ferry from Wirral waterfront to Liverpool and it is hoped that when it opens it will give a huge boost to many of the companies already established locally in growing regional sectors such as low carbon, advanced manufacturing, life and health sciences and digital and innovation.
The key partners chosen to help bring Eureka! Mersey to life are:
Eureka! Mersey has now received 95% of its £11.75m total with a further £575,000 to be raised between now and opening from a range of grants, as well as corporate and private donations.
“The original Eureka! children’s museum in Halifax is an inspiration for many children and aspiring scientists, engineers and designers. It is a privilege to be involved in the next stage of the journey at Eureka! Mersey, which will inspire many more generations to come.”
– Katy Harris | Seddon Construction Ltd
“We are thrilled to be a part of the design team on the Eureka! Mersey project. As the MEP and Low Carbon Consultants, we will be advising the design team and client on the most appropriate low carbon and renewable technology, the benefits they can bring and how to integrate them to create a comfortable and efficient building. We are excited about the project that brings communities together and we strongly believe that Eureka! will provide a fantastic space in which those young and old can investigate and discover science together.”
– Nigel Griffiths | TACE
“We are delighted to be part of the Eureka! Mersey team. As well as being a fantastic new facility for the region’s young people, the project will breathe new life into the iconic Seacombe Ferry Terminal buildings and be a springboard for the wider regeneration of the Wirral waterfront.”
– Steve Golding | K2 Architects
“We are excited to work alongside the Eureka! team to bring this fantastic project to life! We feel proud to be involved with such an inspiring attraction that will allow children and their families to explore learning in new ways and we can’t wait to experience it for ourselves, in our home of Merseyside.”
– Craig Graham | Playmaker Studio
“Urban Green is thrilled to be involved in the Eureka! Mersey development. This world-class facility will be a most fantastic asset for families, children and young people from across the North West. As the landscape architect, Urban Green will create a welcoming sense of arrival and a user-friendly public realm reflective of the Eureka! vision.”
– Martin King | Urban Green
“Our fantastic museums are an integral part of our world-class visitor offer and Eureka! Mersey will add something new and exciting. It’s great to see progress continuing on what will become a major attraction for people within our city region and from further afield. As we start the long road to economic recovery, Eureka! Mersey will play an important role in inspiring our future scientists and engineers, so that they can develop the skills they need to thrive and contribute to building a better future. That’s why we are investing £6.44m in this project and that’s why I am sure that it is money well spent.”