PLANS for a new world-class visitor attraction for children and families on Wirral waterfront will continue to press ahead despite a bid for a portion of its funding being unsuccessful.
Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, has reconfirmed backing for the project and says it will press ahead with new funding options to bring the attraction, from Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, to the Wirral waterfront.
The Government has announced that the city region has been unsuccessful in its bid for £4m of funding from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF). The money would have been used towards the £11m needed to bring the museum to Seacombe Ferry Terminal. The project is already receiving part of its funding from Merseytravel and Wirral Council.
Asif Hamid MBE, said: “While it is disappointing not to receive the funding this time we are continuing to look at other options available.
“Our goal is to continue working with our partners to do everything we can to bring Eureka! to the Wirral waterfront, help regenerate the area and create a place where young people can explore and be inspired.”
Other funding options are currently being looked at, with the project also being shortlisted for a bid to The Inspiring Science Fund – a scheme that is co-funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The new museum is set to open in 2021, with 2,200m² of interactive exhibition space containing workshops, a shop, café and adjoining outdoor science park. It builds on the success of the original Eureka! Museum in Halifax, which has welcomed more than 7.5m visitors since it opened in 1992.
Appealing to a slightly older age group of 7 to 14 years, Eureka! Mersey will be a place designed to inspire young people to explore science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, with bespoke content to reflect sectors identified by the city region as key drivers for future economic growth and prosperity.
Leigh-Anne Stradeski, Chief Executive of Eureka!, added: “We were delighted that LCR chose Eureka! as its preferred project for the NCRF and were very hopeful that our bid would be successful. At the same time, we knew there were many other excellent projects competing for the funds and those chosen are very worthy initiatives, which will bring many benefits to the north of England.
“This hasn’t in any way dampened our enthusiasm to create a world-class visitor attraction based at Seacombe Ferry Terminal, and we have several other bids both under development and in consideration at this stage. We are looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with the LCR LEP, Wirral Council and Merseytravel, and to increasing our engagement with local families, children and young people, as well as stakeholders from all sectors to develop a centre which reflects the context, spirit and ambitions of the city region.”
Cllr Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council and Liverpool City Region lead for Economic Development and Culture, said: “While we are bitterly disappointed that the Eureka development did not attract the funding we firmly believe it deserved, this is not the end of the road for this project. We are already making good progress with other funding options, and we hope to be making more positive announcements in the near future. We remain committed to bringing Eureka to the Liverpool City Region and we are confident we can make it happen.”