The Odyssey Trust, owners of the Science and Discovery Centre, announced the investment package that will enable a major capital refurbishment and public engagement programme.
The redevelopment of the attraction is set to take between 24-30 months to complete.
The medium to long term aims of the investment are to establish a world-class innovative science centre that will create an inspiring visitor experience for new audiences and increase visitor numbers.
Eric Porter, Chairman of the Odyssey Trust, said: “Our contribution to the overall funding package is part of The Trust’s wider objective to transform the Odyssey into a hub for families in Northern Ireland.
“Public engagement is at the heart of the transformation and we want to invest in the complex to help improve our facilities and provide families with a number of high quality experiences under one roof.”
£3 million of funding has been awarded through the Inspiring Science Fund, a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome, with a further £1.5 million invested from The Odyssey Trust.
In line with the Government’s Industrial Strategy to encourage more young people to consider Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers, the investment will enable W5 to reinvigorate their visitor experience
Judith Harvey, Head of Education and Public Affairs at the Odyssey Trust, added: “Through this project, we plan to implement a new model of informal STEM learning outcomes increasing the touch points with science not only within W5, but within the community of Northern Ireland, linking education, public engagement and STEM strategies to create a significant and lasting impact. Our aim is that this project will not only be aspirational, but inspirational.”
Wendy Langham, Head of Social Affairs at the Odyssey Trust, said: “We are delighted to have secured the Inspiring Science funding and the opportunities it will support for wider public engagement in enhanced learning opportunities. This investment ensures an exciting future for W5 for the benefit of the people of Northern Ireland.”
The Odyssey Trust is the charitable organisation responsible for the management and development of the Odyssey site including The SSE Arena Belfast, W5 and the Stena Line Belfast Giants Ice Hockey Team.