Science Museum Swindon launched Inspired on 4 April, its transformational new project to open up the world of science and innovation, and unleash the genius in everyone.
The project, which aims to create a brand new type of interactive museum by 2010, is one of just six candidates bidding for £50 million from the Big Lottery, to be voted for by the British public later this year in December.
Set on a stunning 545 acre, ex-World War II site high on a hill above Wroughton, just outside Swindon, Inspired will deliver serious fun for everyone by bringing to life the human stories and moments of genius behind 200,000 iconic objects which have been previously inaccessible to the public. Drawing on the skills and expertise of the Science Museum in London, the sixth most popular visitor attraction in the UK, Inspired will also offer spectacular tours, workshops, themed dramas and science shows on an unprecedented scale.
Martin Earwicker, Director of the National Museum of Science & Industry, right, hosted the launch event which unveiled a fresh and exciting new identity for one of the most significant developments in the museum world. He said, " Inspired will not only provide a brand new type of museum with access to previously unseen inventions and innovations, it will also inspire future generations of scientists to step up to the challenges of our world."
He added, "More than a museum, Inspired will be a marvellous, interactive spectacle, a treasure trove of vast, iconic objects that have shaped and continue to shape the past, present and future of our world. All of this will of course, be housed within a sustainable, environmentally-friendly building."
At the launch, Viridor Credits, the charitable arm of Viridor Waste Management, announced its pledge to donate £1 million as part of the matched funding required for the museum’s Lottery bid. Ten acres of new woodland on the site has already been named after the company, as recognition of its role as a founding funder of the project.
Dr Ian White, former Chairman of Viridor Credits said, "Viridor are proud and excited to be a founding supporter of Inspired because it’s a project that we believe will provide so much fun, as well as valuable learning for everyone."
"It is such an important project for anyone who has ever had an x-ray, played a games console or driven a car, so anyone who has relied upon science and technology for any reason. Inspired will encourage people of all ages to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and invention which is vital to ensure that as a nation we have a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future."
The launch event also included a show by the Science Museum’s hugely popular Punk Science team, made famous by their appearances on the Discovery Channel. Their show provided an example of the fun, science-based programming that will be common place at Inspired, and culminated in the launch of a new text service to generate support for the project.
Guests at the launch included organisations from across the local area who have supported the project to date. These included pupils from Hreod School in Swindon who are part of the Young Ambassador Team, a group of school pupils providing vital advice to the Inspired project from a young persons perspective.
Scott Dew from Nova Hreod Specialist Science College, right said, "We are really excited about Inspired and the opportunities that it will provide for school children like us. I think it will make science a much more exciting subject and to have it on the edge of Swindon is brilliant."
If Inspired is successful in winning the vote, it is scheduled to open in 2010. It will comprise of a vast 40,000m2 (10 acre) building, with a chalk downland grass roof to fit in with the natural surroundings. Its operation will be both energy efficient and sustainable providing a multi-use site for leisure, learning, as well as corporate hire.
Science Museum Swindon
Few people know that around 92 per cent of the Science Museum’s collections are held in storage and are rarely seen by the general public, the large objects are stored on the breathtaking 545-acre Science Museum Swindon site.
These collections range across the whole spectrum of scientific and technological interest, from the giant Lockheed Constellation airliner to early computers, from bicycles to the massive Wood printing press, and from MRI scanners to the very first hovercraft.
Find out more by text:
By texting ‘SMS Inspired’ to 88833 anyone can sign up to Inspired, receiving free updates and the latest news as it happens on this exciting project.
NMSI.The National Museum of Science & Industry is one of the world’s great museum families. Each year over 11 million visits, real and virtual, are made from around the globe to NMSI Museums and their websites. The family members are the Science Museum in London, the National Railway Museum in York, the National Media Museum in Bradford, Locomotion in Shildon, County Durham, and Science Museum Swindon.
A message from the Inspired team
The Science Museum in London only has space to display around 8% of its National Collections
The large objects in its reserve collections are housed at its 545 acre site just outside Swindon: around 18,000 fascinating objects ranging from the giant Lockheed Constellation airliner to early computers, from bicycles to the massive Wood printing press, and from MRI scanners to the very first hovercraft.
The Museum’s smaller reserve collections are held in a building called Blythe House, West London and include one of the best medical collections in the world
Under the Inspired project, the Science Museum will bring together all its reserve collections under one roof, allow public access for the first time to a treasure house of unparalleled proportions.
An iconic project
The Inspired project has been designed with three primary aims:
To deliver "serious fun" on a spectacular scale
To inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things
To unleash the genius in everyone
In delivering these three goals the Science Museum will be able to:
Enthuse and inspire everyone to take an active interest in science and technology
Increase learning and skills through a rich programme of tours, shows, hands-on workshops and hugely popular Science Night sleepovers
Safeguard the nation’s scientific heritage
Increase people’s access to this heritage
Ensure financial and performance efficiency
Champion Swindon as a culturally rich and diverse place
The total project cost is around £60 million
This will allow us to bring together around 200,000 examples of the greatest innovations of science and industry at Science Museum Swindon
At around 10 acres, the Inspired experience will take place in the biggest building that most people have ever been in
The building will incorporate a chalk downland grass roof which helps capture rainwater, provides insulation and disguises the building from the Ridgeway. Other sustainable features may include ground source heat pumps and solar walls
This building will be far more efficient than the existing Swindon and Blythe storage sites combined
We need support says Science Museum
Science Museum Swindon is one of only six organizations still in the running for a Big Lottery Fund grant of up to £50m. The winning project will be decided by a televised public vote in late 2007. There is only one winner, with no second place.
If we win the Lottery vote building will start almost immediately and we will be open to the public sometime in 2010