Multi-million pound refurbishment announced for W5 education centre in the Odyssey

Judith Harvey, head of education and public affairs; Wendy Langham, head of social affairs and Eric Porter, chairman at The Odyssey Trust. A multi-million pound refurbishment has just been announced at W5 within the Odyssey complex. Picture by Darren Kidd /Press Eye
Jonathan Gilpin

16 years after W5 Science and Discovery Centre opened it's doors, the Odyssey Trust has announced a multi million pound transformation of the complex.

£3 million of funding has been awarded through the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome.

A further £1.5 million will be provided by the Odyssey Trust who are looking to re-invigorate their popular visitor experience at the Queen's Quay. Chairman of the Odyssey Trust, Eric Porter, said, “Our contribution to the overall funding package is part of The Trust's wider objective to transform the Odyssey into a hub for families in Northern Ireland. He believes that the investment will provide families with a vast variety of high quality experiences all under one roof.

W5 consists of over 250 interactive exhibits spread over the space of five floors incorporating an exhibition space and multiple lecture theatres and teaching facilities. This educational feature is evident in the fact over 30,000 pupils attended the site on organised school trips in the past year.

Judith Harvey, Head of Education and Public Affairs at the Trust believes that this project can be the vital bridge that Northern Ireland needs to link the community to STEM learning. “Our aim is that this project will not only be inspirational, but aspirational.”

It is expected the redevlopment of the attraction could take up to two and a half years with the long term plan to leave the nation with a world-class innovative science centre which will see a huge influx in visitor numbers.

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