Triple celebration at GSC
18 April 2013
Glasgow Science Centre has three big reasons to celebrate - a record breaking year for visitor numbers, opening their biggest exhibition to date and having the busiest Easter holidays period since the five star attraction opened over a decade ago.
The Science Mall at the Centre was visited by 270,368 people during the last financial year, making it the busiest year ever since it opened in 2001. Overall, Glasgow Science Centre experienced a 7% increase in visitor numbers compared to the previous year, which dwarfs the industry growth of 1.5% (as recorded by the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions). While Glasgow Science Centre experienced a 10% uplift during July and August, 70% of attractions across Scotland saw a decline.
Home to hundreds of fun hands-on exhibits and science shows, the Science Mall was also visited by more than 60,000 school pupils taking part in learning experiences outside their classrooms.
Chief Executive Dr Stephen Breslin, who took the lead at the Centre a year ago, is thrilled at the record breaking numbers:
“This boost in visitor numbers is a great recognition of all the hard work that we have undertaken in the last 12 months at the Centre. It has been an extremely positive year for us and we are proud of what we have accomplished. We are now focusing on the year ahead and building on our successes. There are a lot of projects and initiatives in the pipeline that we are very excited about and we hope will pique our visitors’ interests once again.”
Something that has definitely captured the imagination of visitors to the Centre is the new £2million BodyWorks exhibition which opened on March 28th. Created with the help of over 200 experts and scientists from industry and academia, and featuring more than 100 interactive exhibits, live lab experiences and research capsules, the exhibition is the most advanced of its kind. It is the biggest refreshment of exhibition space undertaken by Glasgow Science Centre since it opened. Focussing on the wonder of the human body, BodyWorks demonstrates the latest in cutting edge research and innovation in the health and well-being sector. Visitors have been running in a giant hamster wheel, exploring the intricacies of the human brain via the 3D brain, using a virtual autopsy table (the only one in the UK) and getting up close to real plastinated human specimens.
“BodyWorks is a real step forward for us. It uses the latest technology and combines that with an excellent approach to story-telling to define and explain that most complex of entities, the human body,” explains Stephen.
“This represents a £2m investment in our exhibition space, and is the first major upgrade since the centre opened. We have received fantastic feedback from those who have visited the exhibition-including one family who came three times over the Easter holidays. It appeals to visitors of all ages, as they can explore and discover the wonders of the human body in a fun and interactive way. We believe our growing numbers of visitors will really love it.”
Those growing numbers took a massive jump during the recent school break- 32,000 people visited the Centre making it the busiest Easter holidays since the Centre opened. As well as experiencing BodyWorks, visitors built rockets, extracted their own DNA, had fun with their finger prints, saw 3D films, relaxed in the planetarium and lots more.
“We had a broad range of activities on over the Easter holidays including our Meet the Expert programme which sees scientists working in academia and industry engage with our visitors. Over Easter, our visitors made their own cells using jelly with Glasgow University, discovered body-invading creatures with the Wellcome Centre for Parasitology, enrolled in the University of Stirling’s Spy School, got hands on with robots thanks to engineers from Scotbots and learned the science behind bath bombs with retailer Lush.
Over the fortnight school holiday period, nearly 1400 annual science passports were bought so we have definitely been a hit with our visitors! BodyWorks and Easter have given us a great start to the year and hopefully we will see another increase in visitors next year.”