AN ORGANISATION promoting science education and innovation in Oxford, has backed a nationwide campaign to call for emergency funding.

Science Oxford joined more than 40 members of the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC), in the Science Centres For Our Future campaign.

Science Oxford's mission is to encourage the study, application and communication of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It is calling on the Government to set up an emergency resilience fund to support regional science centres, such as its own in Headington.

For the past 30 years, Science Oxford has been successful with little or no government funding. However, due to Covid-19, the hands-on science centre was forced to close its doors resulting in cancelled education outreach programmes and events cutting revenue for the charity.

The Science Centres For Our Future campaign is asking the Government to urgently grant £25m in emergency resilience funding to secure the future of the whole network of UK science centres.

Centres like Science Oxford cannot apply for Arts Council or Heritage Emergency grants and without government support, many centres are at risk of closing.

Bridget Holligan, Director of Education and Engagement, said: “Opened in June 2019, the Science Oxford Centre has welcomed over 5,000 school children and 4,500 family visitors, and our associated programmes reached nearly 50,000 this year.

"Children, teachers, and families alike have told us how they have been inspired by their visit. The centre is proving to be valuable community resource and important asset for the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire region.

The survival of science centres across the UK is vital to inspire the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs, and grow our innovation ecosystem. We would ask anyone involved in science and tech to support this important campaign.”

Hands-on centres, like the Science Oxford Centre, nationally welcome over 13 million people and contribute over £200m per year to local economies.

Dr Penny Fidler, CEO of ASDC said: “As a nation and as a global society we have some major challenges ahead, especially in relation to climate and coronavirus. To solve these challenges, we need an entrepreneurial and scientifically engaged society. Science centres unlock science for people, making it accessible and interesting to millions of children and adults each year. Without support we will start to lose these popular cultural resources that offer access into science for all.”

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ASDC and the Science Oxford Centre are asking the public to support the Science Centres For Our Future campaign by sharing science centre photos on social media using the hashtag #ScienceCentresForOurFuture and letting everyone know why the centres are important.

Science Oxford Centre is asking for members of the public to write to local MPs asking them to support the creation of an emergency fund to secure their future.

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