Friday 4 February 2005

Life Science Centre Announces £4.5m Revamp

The Life Science Centre in Newcastle has announced plans to carry out an extensive £4.5 million redevelopment. The announcement comes after the centre discovered it had won a £1.216 million grant from ReDiscover, a renewal fund for science centres.

The cash will be used to create a new exhibition at Life which will present the story of how modern humans evolved and adapted to different environments. The exhibition will be called "Human Life: Past, Present and Future". The announcement comes only a short time after Chancellor Gordon Brown revealed plans to give Newcastle 'Science City' status. The redevelopment work will be carried out in two phases and is expected to start in Autumn 2005. The Centre will remain open to the public throughout the project with sections of the current exhibition closed off as work begins.

Phase One of the redevelopment will include building work to increase the available floor space within the Centre and create the 'Present' zone of the exhibition. Phase Two will involve the creation of the 'Past' and 'Future' exhibition zones. The first phase will open in spring 2006 with Phase Two opening the following year.

Linda Conlon, Director of the Life Science Centre, said: "The new exhibition will be presented in a different style to the current exhibition and consist of three zones, all looking at Human Life in The Present, The Past and The Future. Our aim is to build upon the success of our original exhibition to produce a new experience for future visitors. Human Life will draw upon local, national and international expertise to create a valuable resource for the North East."

While the bulk of the redevelopment funding comes from ReDiscover, further funding has been won from The Garfield Weston Foundation (£500,000), Life Knowledge Park, (a Department of Health and DTI initiative) and English Partnerships, bringing the total to £4.5m.

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