Concept drawing for Eureka's proposed second site
Concept drawing for Eureka's proposed second site

A Eureka! Moment

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Eureka!, the only national children’s museum, has celebrated its 25th birthday by announcing plans to launch a new visitor attraction in Merseyside.

At the museum’s anniversary gala dinner, Chief Executive Leigh-Anne Stradeski revealed plans for a second museum to be built in the Wirral. Located on the site adjacent to the Seacombe Ferry Terminal, the project would cost £11 million and could be open as early as 2021. The building would be designed with older children in mind, aged seven to fourteen, and would focus on developing technical and digital skills to meet the changing demands of the future workforce.

More details will emerge about the second site in the coming months, but it is anticipated that the new site will create 28 new full-time jobs, as well as boost the local economy by £6.2 million.

“Eureka! has always had ambitions to extend beyond West Yorkshire,” said Stradeski, “and we have actively been looking for sites for development throughout the UK. The Wirral site – if it goes ahead – will be funded by grants, donations and partnerships and we have planned it to concentrate on skills-based learning while continuing to use play and discovery as a means of engagement… We want to create a thriving children’s community of budding scientists and engineers, actively engaging them to contribute their ideas while learning about real world problems.”

Among Eureka!’s further strategy for the next few years, Leigh-Anne Stradeski also unveiled plans to redevelop the current site in Halifax, which has welcomed 7.5 million visitors since opening in 1992. Within six years, the museum could expand into the 3600 sqm site next door – currently the Great Northern Shed heritage building – to welcome an additional 150k to 200k visitors each year. Such an expansion would allow more space to bring in temporary exhibitions, like the recently successful digiPlaySpace.

The last 25 years have seen huge success for Eureka!, which has become a completely sustainable charity and brought smiles to the faces of children, parents and grandparents alike. At Kids in Museums, we are thrilled to see it looking ahead, and we look forward to seeing how it continues to make its sites accessible to children, young people and their families.

Becky MacNaughton, News Editor

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