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Xplore! Science Discovery Centre’s legacy brings big impact for local community

(L-R): Projects officer Dawn Pavey, centre manager Scot Owen, and business development officer Katie Williams outside Xplore! Science Discovery Centre on Henblas Street, Wrexham.

A leading science visitor attraction in the centre of Wrexham has revealed the full impact of its work engaging communities through STEM.

After relocating to Henblas Street in 2020, Xplore! Science Discovery Centre has ‘exceeded all expectations’, focusing on creating a diverse experience for its visitors.

Formally known as Techniquest Glyndŵr, the charity is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and has shared its work building partnerships with businesses, communities, and schools in its 2022/23 Impact Brochure.

Through science-themed exhibitions, shows, and workshops, including ten new additions to the programme in the past year, 16,000 school learners have engaged in its outreach activities and more than 6,000 pupils have visited, returning to pre-pandemic school admission levels.

In addition, the publication revealed strengthened partnerships including new combined science and faith events with St Giles Church as well as a continuation of its work with the Principality Building Society to boost financial skills in youngsters.

Through increased funding streams, Ukrainian refugees were also given free tickets, with its success leading to an extension to all people seeking sanctuary.

New collaborations also led to the creation of decarbonisation workshops, furthering carbon literacy for nearly 600 pupils, as well as a dedicated RAF day, where a former pilot discussed her career to help inspire jobs in STEM.

With the centre rebranding during the covid-19 pandemic, Jasbir Dhesi OBE, chair of the board of trustees, has enjoyed starting 2023 without the challenges of lockdown restrictions.

He said: “The team should take pride in its innovative approach to keep connected with the community since the relocation, and it’s exciting to see a strong presence in the city centre flourish.

“Xplore! has had a far-reaching impact during the past twelve months, building on the centre’s long-standing dedication to science-based learning since its launch 20 years ago.

“A huge thank you to Wrexham Glyndŵr University, our parent company, for its continued support.”

Xplore! centre manager Scot Owen added: “It’s been a fantastic year for the team, returning to pre-covid admissions in addition to securing a Visit Wales gold award, which reflects how we are contributing to tourism in the region.

“We have focused on dedicating time and resources to reach all corners of the community through science engagement, and we have seen what this can mean when building a sense of belonging.

“Our Impact Brochure is a celebration of the team’s efforts to punch above our weight and leave a legacy for Wrexham and beyond.”