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Aberdeen Science Centre gets £600K investment for ‘theatre of energy’

(L-R): Jill Glennie - director of external affairs at OPITO, Ain Gibson (10) – P6 pupil from Whitehills School, Grace Milne (10) - P6 pupil from Whitehills School and Liz Hodge from Aberdeen Science Centre.
(L-R): Jill Glennie - director of external affairs at OPITO, Ain Gibson (10) – P6 pupil from Whitehills School, Grace Milne (10) - P6 pupil from Whitehills School and Liz Hodge from Aberdeen Science Centre.

Opito has invested more than £600,000 in an immersive and educational energy theatre which will be unveiled at Aberdeen Science Centre (ASC) when it reopens in next summer.

The global not-for profit skills body for the energy industry signed a seven-year agreement with ASC which will see the creation and development of the Opito Theatre of Energy as part of the multi-million-pound redevelopment.

The immersive theatre, which will be the only one of its kind in the UK, will provide three interactive experiences for visitors, developing an understanding of how having a mix of energy sources is important to our lives, and how it is shaped by our demand.

The content has been guided by an advisory group including representatives from ASC, Opito, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), Shell, the Institute of Physics and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG).

The concept is being brought to life by creative production studio, Happy Finish, whose clients include Google, Nike and The Shard in London.

The exhibit will replace the show theatre within ASC as the venue undergoes a major upgrade and is transformed into modern science centre to reflect the key priorities of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) agenda for both industry and education.

Jill Glennie, director of external affairs at Opito, said: “As the skills organisation for the energy sector, Opito plays a key role in inspiring the next generation to consider this exciting and varied industry for their future careers.

“The new Aberdeen Science Centre provides an excellent platform to reach young people, schoolteachers, families and the community to demonstrate what energy is and how it impacts so many different aspects of our lives.

“As the sector looks to navigate the energy transition and achieve Roadmap 2035, it’s vital that we communicate and promote the new transformational roles industry will need in the coming years, and how they will play a major role in achieving our net zero goals.

“Our sponsorship underlines our commitment to working closely with industry partners to promote the varied skills landscape within the energy sector, while communicating its importance and impact to help secure a sustainable pipeline of talent for years to come.”

Liz Hodge from Aberdeen Science Centre said: “We are incredibly grateful to Opito for this significant investment which will not only greatly enhance visitors’ experiences to the new centre but also help broaden people’s understanding of energy and the energy industry.

Aberdeen Science Centre has relocated to a temporary home at 107 George Street, Aberdeen, while the work is being carried out, allowing visitors to continue to enjoy interactive exhibits, inspiring activities and topical science events.

Work is underway at the old granite Tramsheds on Constitution Street, formerly known as Satrosphere.

The project will revitalise and transform the centre as well as expand the exhibition and corporate space.

The transformation will include an extension and creation of a new mezzanine floor –more than doubling the exhibition space – and exposing the roof structure to allow natural light to flood into the building.

The £4.7 million redevelopment is being made possible by support and funding from the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation, Wellcome, Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeen City Council.

The project has secured a further £1.5million to ensure quality of programmes and delivery to enhance the overall visitor experience at the venue and funding is ongoing for future programme and activities.

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