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An exciting development prepares for launch in Wrexham’s city centre

One of the exhibits at Xplore! Science Discovery Centre

A Wrexham tourist attraction is preparing for cosmic expansion, and hopes to inspire local people to voice what they would like to see in the centre’s future.

Xplore! Science Discovery Centre, which relocated to Henblas Street in 2021, is ensuring its presence in the city will continue to make a lasting impact for communities in Wrexham and beyond.

The site is currently preparing for the development of an upstairs space, adding to the 80 exhibits and workshops on its ground floor, whilst ensuring the updates to the building reduce its carbon footprint.

Xplore!, which could welcome everything from a state-of-the-art planetarium to a dedicated under-7s play area, as well as conferencing facilities for businesses, is encouraging North Wales residents to get in touch with what they would like to see.

Outside the Xplore! Science Discovery Centre

The initial building improvements have been made possible through the Shared Prosperity Fund, with 248 photovoltaic (PV) panels, new roofing, and insulation to be installed by September 2024.

In addition, the £1.5m funding from the UK government has allowed Xplore! to invest into research to expand the centre’s offering through the most carbon friendly means, working with market researchers, exhibit consultants, and architects to create a detailed upstairs plan.

Xplore!’s projects officer Dawn Pavey said: “Sustainable development is a huge priority for Wrexham, so significantly reducing our carbon footprint and mapping out long-terms plans is an incredibly exciting first step.

“It’s important to us that we not only offer interactive, topical, and fun climate education for our visitors, but we practice what we preach by making the site as energy efficient as possible.

“The funding has meant we have made investments to lower our carbon consumption, and we are working with a North Wales supply chain to carry out the improvements.”

Through generating renewable electricity, the installation of the PV solar panels and improved insulation is expected to save the centre up to 22 tonnes of CO2 a year, which is equivalent to flying from London to New York 26 times.

Visitors at the Xplore! Science Discovery Centre

In the summer, the centre will run on 100 per cent of its own renewable electricity, and annually, it will generate 82.32 MWh, covering 82 per cent of its operations, with the remaining provided to the grid for distribution to local homes and businesses.

Dawn added: “We’re still open as usual and we’d love to see visitors and members of the community share their thoughts of what they would like to see in the new space, helping us develop it into something exciting for everyone.”

Architect Dan Thorpe, from Cassidy + Ashton, the appointed architectural and design consultancy on the project, said: ‘It’s great having the opportunity to work with the Xplore! team on both the delivery of the roof works and the first-floor expansion of the exhibition space.

“The science discovery centre is a fantastic resource, and we are proud to be playing our part in delivering a scheme that not only addresses a sustainability agenda, but just as importantly showcases the impact of sustainability to visitors to the centre.”