Funding boost for International Centre for Life, Newcastle

The International Centre for Life in Newcastle has received £2.6 million from the Inspiring Science Fund.

The fund is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Wellcome, one of the largest biomedical charities in the world.

Chief Executive of Life, Linda Conlon, said: “This is great news and will help us to continue delivering superb exhibitions on such topics as space exploration. We are very proud of our entrepreneurial business model, which operates without public subsidy. But this award means that we can invest in major capital renewal – it will represent a really exciting and innovative next chapter in the story of Life.”
The money will go towards the creation of new exhibitions. It will also fund a programme of science engagement initiatives with community groups in the region. That project  will be called Creative Explorations.

The Inspiring Science fund has given £13m of funding to five UK science centres. Another centre to receive funding is Thinktank (Birmingham). They received an award of £1.4m which will go towards an interactive children’s gallery.

The Inspiring Science fund is part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy to encourage more young people to consider STEM careers.

Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “Exhibitions are often our first experience of science and have a vital role in bringing the subject to life to encourage more young people to embrace science and engineering careers.

“This fund will provide vital support to help centres across the UK attract a new audience, supporting our Industrial Strategy to increase the diversity in the science sector and ensure we have the technical skills for the future.”

Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture and Society at Wellcome, said: “Wellcome believes that everyone should have the opportunity to explore, debate and shape research. Science centres across the UK provide welcoming spaces that ignite curiosity and enable visitors to explore the role of science in culture. We are delighted to be supporting the creation of exciting and inclusive new science experiences as well as helping to sustain these science centres for the future.”
Image courtesy of Sara Gibbeson Illustration via International Centre for Life