SCOTLAND’S oldest science and discovery centre has unveiled plans for an ambitious £7 million plan to double its size as part of a major refurbishment programme.
Satrosphere first opened its doors in Aberdeen in 1988 and has been attracting an estimated 55,000 visitors a year to view its live science shows and interactive hands-on exhibits .
The science centre has now announced plans for a massive fundraising drive to raise the £7 million needed for a modern and contemporary facility at its site near the Beach Boulevard , double the size of the current centre.
The redevelopment will allow the centre to create new learning, teaching and corporate spaces and bring in a brand new permanent exhibition.
A spokeswoman for Satrosphere said: “As part of the refurbishment, there will be a change in focus to the science of ‘energy’. Energy is rarely emphasised throughout science centres in Europe and Satrosphere is the perfect science centre to lead this theme, with a hugely profitable energy industry in Aberdeen.
“A fundraising campaign to finance these changes has now been launched, aiming to raise a massive £7 million. It is anticipated this campaign will take two years to complete, with the money coming from a range of sources. Through this effort, it is expected visitor numbers will increase from 55,000 to around 70,000 as well as doubling the number of school visits each year.”
Dr Paul Jennings, chief executive of the centre, said: “The plan is to completely refresh the centre and in doing so create a dynamic and contemporary showcase for science in which audiences are actively encouraged to learn through ‘hands-on’ enquiry.
“Successful science centres draw on the context of their local science and ‘energy’ was a theme that came up consistently in our discussions with stakeholders in the City and Shire.
“Our plans will enable us to create a credible science centre which places a spotlight on the expanding energy sector.”
Professor Dominic Houlihan, chairman of the centre’s board, said: “We’re very much viewing this as Aberdeen’s opportunity to create a science centre of great impact and importance to promoting science in the north of Scotland.
“The newly developed science centre will focus on the three Es - energy, education and the experience. We’re excited by the potential of a fully refreshed science centre and are committed to try and realise the new vision.”