A UNIQUE attraction in Winchester is set to welcome visitors to its revamped centre later this year following a £1.1 million redevelopment.

The Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium has recently secured a grant of £292,400 to help with its plan of ‘Inspiring Science for All’.

The grant was given through the Biffa Award, a fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to communities and environmental projects across the UK.

Ben Ward, chief executive of the science centre, said: “Thanks to Biffa Award we are now in a position to turn our dream into reality and create an accessible and inclusive Science Centre experience that every child can enjoy.”

Following competition of the first phase of the project, the installation of a new accessible planetarium in June and Changing Places toilet in October 2019, the attraction has now begun work on the upper floor of the two-storey site.

This includes a brand new multi-sensory exhibition, a re-designed welcome area, café and shop, and the creation of a sensory room, live science demo area and invention studio, with the aim to welcome visitors in June this year.

Gillian French, Biffa Award head of grants, said: “It is great to know that the funding we have awarded to Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium through Biffa Award will help to fuel imaginations, spark interest and create a passion for STEM subjects among our next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians. We can’t wait to see this exciting project when it is completed in 2020 – it really will help to transform lives.”

The exhibition will be centred on sound, hearing and vibration and cover all aspects of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – with the design by internationally renowned exhibition and narrative designer, Houghton Kneale Design Ltd (HKD) said to have “pushed the boundaries”.

Mr Ward said: “We had identified the areas for development but HKD responded with the total reordering and design of the upper floor and we loved it. The repositioning of the invention studio to the far corner of the building has created a seamless link to the outside, and all the exciting possibilities this brings. They’ve introduced a central live science demo area which can be viewed from both the upper and lower level, adding drama and surprise to every visit. This isn’t a new exhibition, it’s a relaunch of our science centre!”