Photo: Wildwalk, At-Bristol. Courtesy of At-Bristol.
At-Bristol, the west country-based science centre, has received confirmation from the Department of Education and Skills that it will be awarded a massive £825,000 grant.
The funding, covering the period up until 2006, is only half what the centre was hoping for but is still the largest award of its kind anywhere in England.
Photo: At-Bristol open spaces. Courtesy of At-Bristol.
John Durant, At-Bristol’s Chief Executive said, "Receiving this government funding is great news for At-Bristol.
"Although we didn’t get as much as we asked for and will therefore need to continue our search for financial support through sponsorships and grants, this award clearly shows the government recognises the quality and the importance of what At-Bristol offers to the public.
"We look forward to continuing to work with local, regional and national government in the delivery of first-rate programmes to all our visitors."
Photo: Explore, At-Bristol. Courtesy of At-Bristol.
At-Bristol will be four in July. Since it opened in 2000 it has had extraordinary success, winning nine awards.
It was voted Visitor Attraction of the Year by the Good Britain Guide 2001, beating Tate Modern into second place and was runner up for the title of Best New Visitor Attraction after the London Eye, as voted by readers of Group Travel Organiser Magazine.
The centre consists of three main visitor attractions: Wildwalk, described as a living rainforest in the heart of the city; Explore, a true 21st century science centre; and the IMAX Theatre, the only IMAX screen in the south-west. It is gearing up for a new temporary exhibition, Sportastic, that will open in Explore at Easter.
At-Bristol is not the only science centre to benefit from government funding. Smaller awards have been made to Intech in Winchester, the National Space Centre in Leicester, Rotherham’s Magna and Birmingham’s Thinktank.
The awards are part of the government’s decision to support English science centres in recognition of the importance of the work they do.