Science Centres
Millennium Innovation

In the run-up to the millennium, £1.3bn of National Lottery money was invested in more than 200 projects. Some were controversial, others failed, but these science centres have gone from strength to strength


@Bristol

Location: Bristol
Twitter: @AtBristol
Cost: £96m
Millennium funding: £44m
Opened: July 2000

@Bristol, which recently installed the UK’s only ultra-HD 3D planetarium, attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year.
 


IMAGE: Lee Pullen

Live shows are popular at the hands-on science centre
Magna

Location: Rotherham
Twitter: @MagnaScience
Cost: £47m
Millennium funding: £23m
Opened: April 2001

Magna is set in a former steelworks and tells the story of the region’s steel industry. In recent years, the science centre’s financial stability has been in question.
 


IMAGE: John Edler

The venue is often used for events and gigs
The International Centre for Life (LIFE)

Location: Newcastle
Twitter: @scienceatlife
Cost: £67m
Millennium funding: £33m
Opened: May 2000

LIFE explores human biology through hands-on exhibits and multimedia displays. It welcomes 250,000 visitors per year.
 



The 4D motion ride at LIFE
National Space Centre

Location: Leicester
Twitter: @spacecentre
Cost: £84m
Millennium funding: £32m
Opened: June 2001

Featuring a state-of-the-art dome theatre, this attraction uses personalities and technology to explain our understanding of space.
 


IMAGES: Osborne Hollis

Moon rock and rockets are on show
 


IMAGES: Osborne Hollis
Moon rock and rockets are on show
 
Winchester Science Centre

Location: Winchester
Twitter: @WinSciCentre
Cost: £11m
Millennium funding: £6m
Opened: March 2002

Previously known as INTECH, this Hampshire science centre attracts 150,000 visitors a year, and sells 100,000 tickets to its digital planetarium.
 



Hampshire science centre
Glasgow Science Centre

Location: Glasgow
Twitter: @gsc1
Cost: £71.5m
Millennium funding: £35m
Opened: June 2001

Glasgow Science Centre is one of the most popular paid-for attractions in Scotland, attracting more than 350,000 visitors annually.
 



Glasgow Science Centre
Millennium fails

Though the Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and the Eden Project have seen great success, not all Millennium Commission contracts did well, and some were forced to close their doors, including:

• The £15m National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield, which predicted 400,000 annual visitors but received only 104,000

• The £42m Earth Centre in Doncaster, which went bankrupt in 2004

• The Public, a £54m digital art gallery in West Bromwich. Much of it never opened

• The £14m Big Idea Centre in North Ayrshire, which closed in 2003 due to lack of finances and low visitor turnout

 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Attractions Management
2016 issue 4

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Millennium Innovation

Science Centres

Millennium Innovation


In the run-up to the millennium, £1.3bn of National Lottery money was invested in more than 200 projects. Some were controversial, others failed, but these science centres have gone from strength to strength

@Bristol

Location: Bristol
Twitter: @AtBristol
Cost: £96m
Millennium funding: £44m
Opened: July 2000

@Bristol, which recently installed the UK’s only ultra-HD 3D planetarium, attracts more than 300,000 visitors a year.
 


IMAGE: Lee Pullen

Live shows are popular at the hands-on science centre
Magna

Location: Rotherham
Twitter: @MagnaScience
Cost: £47m
Millennium funding: £23m
Opened: April 2001

Magna is set in a former steelworks and tells the story of the region’s steel industry. In recent years, the science centre’s financial stability has been in question.
 


IMAGE: John Edler

The venue is often used for events and gigs
The International Centre for Life (LIFE)

Location: Newcastle
Twitter: @scienceatlife
Cost: £67m
Millennium funding: £33m
Opened: May 2000

LIFE explores human biology through hands-on exhibits and multimedia displays. It welcomes 250,000 visitors per year.
 



The 4D motion ride at LIFE
National Space Centre

Location: Leicester
Twitter: @spacecentre
Cost: £84m
Millennium funding: £32m
Opened: June 2001

Featuring a state-of-the-art dome theatre, this attraction uses personalities and technology to explain our understanding of space.
 


IMAGES: Osborne Hollis

Moon rock and rockets are on show
 


IMAGES: Osborne Hollis
Moon rock and rockets are on show
 
Winchester Science Centre

Location: Winchester
Twitter: @WinSciCentre
Cost: £11m
Millennium funding: £6m
Opened: March 2002

Previously known as INTECH, this Hampshire science centre attracts 150,000 visitors a year, and sells 100,000 tickets to its digital planetarium.
 



Hampshire science centre
Glasgow Science Centre

Location: Glasgow
Twitter: @gsc1
Cost: £71.5m
Millennium funding: £35m
Opened: June 2001

Glasgow Science Centre is one of the most popular paid-for attractions in Scotland, attracting more than 350,000 visitors annually.
 



Glasgow Science Centre
Millennium fails

Though the Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge and the Eden Project have seen great success, not all Millennium Commission contracts did well, and some were forced to close their doors, including:

• The £15m National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield, which predicted 400,000 annual visitors but received only 104,000

• The £42m Earth Centre in Doncaster, which went bankrupt in 2004

• The Public, a £54m digital art gallery in West Bromwich. Much of it never opened

• The £14m Big Idea Centre in North Ayrshire, which closed in 2003 due to lack of finances and low visitor turnout


Originally published in Attractions Management 2016 issue 4

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