Plans for £11m children’s museum on Wirral Waterfront move a step closer

Project aims to build on the success of Eureka! in Halifax, by creating Eureka! Mersey at Seacombe to inspire young people to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. Tony McDonough reports

Eureka Merseyside
Eureka! would be built at Seacombe ferry terminal in Birkenhead

 

Plans to create an £11m world class National Children’s Museum on Wirral’s waterfront have moved a step closer after the project secured £3m of funding.

The proposal aims to build on the success of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax, by creating Eureka! Mersey – a place designed to inspire young people to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, known as STEAM subjects.

Seacombe Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead will provide the location for Eureka! offering spectacular views across the River Mersey to the world famous Liverpool waterfront. The project is being supported by Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, Wirral Council and Merseytravel.

Funding bid

Earlier this year Eureka! applied for £4m from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, a bid that was unsuccessful. However, the Inspiring Science Fund, which is jointly administered by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and the Wellcome Trust, has agreed to put £3m towards the project.

Eureka! is also seeking funds from the Liverpool City Region Development Fund and the registered charity is confident enough money can be raised to turn the idea into reality.

Key drivers

Appealing primarily to seven to 14-year-olds, it is designed to inspire young people to explore STEAM subjects, with bespoke content to reflect sectors identified by the city region as key drivers for future economic growth and prosperity.

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

Leigh-Anne Stradeski, chief executive of Eureka!, said: “We are moving closer and closer to bringing Eureka! to the Wirral waterfront and truly believe it will transform the lives of local children and young people.

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.

“We are absolutely thrilled and it means we can now develop our plans further, working towards delivering a centre which reflects the context, spirit and ambitions of the area.”

‘Huge success’

The National Children’s Museum in Halifax has welcomed more than 7m visitors since it opened in 1992 and it is hoped that success can be replicated in Merseyside.

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, added: “Eureka! has been a huge success in Halifax as a very popular visitor attraction with a serious remit to instil excitement and interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.

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