Techniquest unveils ambitious expansion plans

Educational charity Techniquest has revealed a new set of fundraising targets which it says will radically transform its science discovery centre in Cardiff Bay.

Over the next few years, the 31-year-old charity wants to generate more than £5 million to extend its current building on Stuart Street and reach out to new customers.

Techniquest confirmed that it is drawing up plans to redevelop, redesign and transform its current premises into a contemporary STEM hub. It wants to be at the forefront of science innovation in Wales.

The organisation will double its footprint and create an additional 70 per cent of exhibition space, which will house brand new content. Welsh STEM innovators and academics will help it on this journey.

According to Techniquest, the space will be” immersive and contemporary”. It’ll deliver content through exhibitions, multimedia displays, programming and events.

Through these plans, the charity will “diversify its audiences, increase visitor numbers by at least 30 per cent and in turn generate additional income through increased admissions”.

Lesley Kirkpatrick, CEO of Techniquest, said she wants the organisation to bring together Welsh academics, innovators, business people and students.

“As a country, Wales has clear aspirations for the contribution that STEM can bring to the economy and science education is critical if we are to inspire and nurture our next generation of scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs,” she said.

Kirkpatrick said the updated building will transform STEM learning. “Evidence suggests that Welsh students are falling behind their UK and European counterparts in terms of science test results and the number of students choosing STEM subjects at a higher level,” she said.

“We know that science centres are recognised internationally as having a significant impact on public understanding and confidence with science and so Techniquest has a huge role to play in addressing these issues.”

She admitted that implementing the plans will be challenging. “However, Techniquest is the oldest and one of the smallest science centres in the UK and we will only be able to achieve our mission by radically transforming our current site,” said Lesley.

“We have ambitious plans to expand our science discovery centre and extend our offering to make science accessible to all and inspire the public to think differently about STEM.

“We have really exciting plans to put Techniquest at the centre of the STEM sector in Wales but we still have a long way to go to make our aspirations a reality.”

Techniquest explained that it will need to raise around £5.6 million to build the new centre, but it has already secured over £2 million.

Lesley added: “We have already garnered a lot of support from some very generous funders, who we are totally indebted to. It is immensely important to us to know that they back our plans.

“We are confident that we will be able to generate the remaining funds to transform and revitalise Techniquest, boosting our relevance and appeal and impact on the Welsh economy.”