Funding of £2.6m has been confirmed for Scotland’s four science centres.
The figure includes money to subsidise school transport costs and increase engagement with under-represented and harder to reach groups, such as girls or those in deprived or remote communities.
Last year saw a record high of nearly 695,000 visitors to Glasgow Science Centre, Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, Dundee Science Centre and Aberdeen Science Centre, including a 4.5% increase in the number of primary and secondary school pupils.
The four centres also engaged with more than 8,000 people from community groups as part of a drive to widen access to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning across the country.
Science Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Scotland’s science centres have a key role to play in improving skills, enthusiasm and knowledge of STEM at all levels of school, college and university, as well as encouraging uptake of careers in this sector. Ensuring we have a strong STEM skills base is vital to both Scotland’s society and economic prosperity.
“That is why the continued support of our science centres and festivals is a key commitment of our recently announced Programme for Government and a central strand of our ambitious STEM strategy which will be published today (Thurs, 26 Oct).
“This funding will allow the centres to continue the great work they are doing in bringing science alive for hundreds of thousands of visitors this year, while the school transport and community subsidies will enable them to target activities at an even wider number of people across Scotland.”
The funding package includes revenue funding of £2,309,000 plus £163,000 to subsidise school transport costs.
The centres will receive:
Aberdeen Science Centre £231,500 + £28,000 = £259,500
Dundee Science Centre £313,500 + £30,000 = £343,500
Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh £860,000 + £45,000 = £905,000
Glasgow Science Centre £904,000 + £60,000 = £964,000
A further £153,000 will be shared by the four science centres for activities and events with a range of community and other groups, making sure they reach out to disadvantaged audiences.
Funding of £250,000 for Scotland’s science festivals and £248,000 towards an interactive exhibition at the Dundee Science Centre was announced earlier this year.