New children’s museum Eureka! Mersey secures £3m government funding

Main Image: An artists impression of Eureka! Mersey, which has been awarded £3m by the Inspiring Science Fund

The proposed Eureka! Mersey museum is one of six projects to receive a total cash injection of £13m from the Inspiring Science Fund, which is jointly administered by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Wellcome Trust

Eureka! Mersey and the five other centres will receive the funding after presenting their plans to connect with audiences and communities who don’t currently visit science centres or engage with learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Inspiring Science Fund - Funded Projects

Eureka! Mersey in the Wirral– £3m
Techniquest in Cardiff – £3m
The National Space Centre in Leicester – £1.88m
Glasgow Science Centre – £2.87m
Dundee Science Centre – £1.45m
Catalyst Science centre in Widnes – £754,600

The £3m Eureka! Mersey funds will go towards the £11m total needed to revitalise the current Spaceport Museum into a ‘21st century science and discovery centre’ on the River Mersey waterfront in the Wirral ‘fuelling young people’s interest in science, technology and the arts while increasing skills and job opportunities for the generations to come’.

Eureka! Mersey will be modelled on Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, which has welcomed more than seven million visitors since it opened in 1992. The new museum will appeal to 0-14-year-olds and is designed to inspire young people to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM), with bespoke content to reflect sectors identified by the city region as key drivers for future economic growth and prosperity.

“This funding from the Inspiring Science scheme is a major step forward for our aspirations to create this world-class visitor attraction in partnership with Wirral Council, Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region LEP,” said Leigh-Anne Stradeski, Chief Executive of Eureka! “It means we can now develop our plans further, working towards delivering a centre which reflects the context, spirit and ambitions of the area.”

The Inspiring Science Fund aims to support under-served and underrepresented audiences, delivering science learning and engagement opportunities that are accessible to all through Science Centres around the country.

“Eureka! Mersey will not only inspire children locally, but also attract visitors from across the North West and beyond, driving additional passenger traffic onto the Mersey Ferry and increasing visitor spend across the city region,” said coun Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council and Liverpool City Region lead for Economic Development and Culture. “Working with organisations such as Eureka! is definitely the way forward to promote learning, and to also support our commitment to supply the skills for future growth and bring new businesses to the city region.”

The site is set to open in 2021 and will be turned into 2,200m² of interactive exhibition space with workshops, a shop, café and adjoining outdoor science park.