Techniquest has invested £190,000 into its facilities and exhibits in a bid to boost the experience for its thousands of yearly visitors.
The UK’s longest-established science centre currently features upwards of 120 hands-on interactive exhibits and has seen significant improvements over the past 12 months, reviving a popular family destination.
Around £100,000 has been invested into seven new exhibits including the Lego Soyuz space capsule, the Virtual Reality changing room, Animate It, and Imagination Playground.
Part of the money has also been spent on improving the charity’s website, online booking system, and on site WiFi as well as the development of a web application which coincides with some exhibits.
Chief executive officer of Techniquest, Lesley Kirkpatrick, said: “As an educational charity, we are committed to ensuring that Wales develops a scientifically literate society through interactive STEM engagement.
“It is therefore vital that we remain fresh and innovative to remain up-to-date with current scientific and digital trends and educational curriculums.
“This significant investment has allowed Techniquest to introduce some really exciting exhibits which not only take scientific education to the next level, but also provide an engaging, memorable and innovative experience for those wanting a fun day out.
Following its refurbishment earlier in May, Techniquest launched its new conference and event facilities as a way to boost its revenue streams and ensure its future.
Lesley continued: “Despite going for 30 years, many people are still unaware that we’re a charity. Over the last few months, we’ve been on a journey and long term programme of change and re-focus to ensure Techniquest has a sustainable future.
“We have looked at how we diversify our income streams and with such an iconic building in the heart of Cardiff Bay, offering our space to hire for events seemed like a natural step.”
Techniquest is the UK’s longest established science centre. It was founded in 1986 by Professor John Beetlestone and his colleagues from Cardiff University.
The original site was at the gas showroom opposite Cardiff Castle, which is now a Burger King. In 1988 it moved to a pre-fabricated industrial building in Cardiff Bay, with 100 exhibits; and it was here that it launched its education programmes for schools.
In 1995 it moved to its current site, the UK’s first purpose-built science centre, in Cardiff Bay.
It is Wales’ largest provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) enrichment activity through its science discovery centre and UK-leading educational programme.