£4.5m transformation of Belfast's W5 set to begin

  • A contractor has been appointed for the redevelopment of Northern Ireland's leading science and discovery centre.

    The £4.5 million transformation of W5 in Belfast is set to begin following the appointment of Sheffield-based contractor, Aivaf.

    The science and discovery centre opened in 2001 and figures show that between April 2017 and April 2018 it attracted 270,000 visitors. It is the largest investment in the popular Belfast attraction since it opened its doors 18 years ago.

    Aivaf, alongside design firm, Maher & Co, won the £1.85m contract, and the redevelopment will create seven new themed zones.

    The work is set to be completed by June next year.

    “This major project will create a series of new and exciting interactive exhibitions that will appeal to all ages," said Head of W5, Lydia McClelland.

    "We look forward to working with Aivaf and their team to deliver significant change at W5 and to widen public engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) enhancing knowledge and understanding amongst the next generation of budding scientists through interactive learning."

    The transformation of W5 is being funded by £1.5m from the Odyssey Trust and a £3m grant from the Inspiring Science Fund, which is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK Research and Innovation and Wellcome.

    “We are proud to have been awarded the contract to work on one of Northern Ireland's leading visitor attractions," said Aivaf's Managing Director, Bruce Davies.

    "We will be using our breadth of skills in designing and developing hands-on interactive exhibits to help create an amazing experience at W5.”

    Earlier this year, W5 announced a partnership with Sure Start on a new science education initiative.

    Source: Written based on press release

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