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Aberdeen Science Centre awarded 5 Star status by VisitScotland

By Kirsty Brown

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Aberdeen Science Centre has been awarded 5-Star Quality Assurance (QA) status by national tourism organisation VisitScotland.

This prestigious award, the highest awarded under the QA scheme, comes less than 18 months after the centre reopened to the public after undergoing a transformational £6million redevelopment.

It becomes only the second visitor attraction in the city to hold a five-star award.

The QA Scheme is a benchmark for exceptional quality within the tourism industry and operates across accommodation, visitor attractions and food sectors.

Chief executive of Aberdeen Science Centre Bryan Snelling said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Aberdeen Science Centre and the contribution it makes to life in North-east Scotland has been recognised in this way by VisitScotland.

"The five-star rating is more than just the ‘stars on the door’, it’s about the entire visitor experience.

“A lot of people worked very hard to make this happen and to bring us to where we are today and we are proud that our staff have been recognised for their enthusiasm and commitment to engaging with every visitor to make their trip to the centre memorable.

“This award is a testament to what has been achieved in a short space of time.

"The science centre is a fantastic asset for the city and is instrumental in bringing science and the STEM subjects to life for people of all ages.

“Over and above that, it’s a fun and entertaining place to come to with something new to discover on every visit.”

Aberdeen Science Centre has become a highly popular destination for people of all ages since reopening the doors of the Tramsheds on Constitution Street in November 2020, after a major project to create an aspirational science centre which reflects the STEM priorities for both industry and education.

It was also recently awarded the Travellers Choice Award by TripAdvisor, reflecting the high number of positive reviews by visitors.

The renovation included an extension and the creation of a new mezzanine floor, which almost doubled the exhibition space.

It also incorporates additional corporate meeting spaces and a café operated by Grub.

Housed within it are more than 60 new interactive exhibits across six new zones, spread across six zones - Energy, Space, Life Sciences, Make It, and Test It as well as a special area for the under-6s.

VisitScotland’s director of industry and destination development Rob Dickson said: “I would like to congratulate the team at Aberdeen Science Centre on their hard work to achieve this 5 Star Quality Assurance award, which only adds to the great tourism offering available to visitors in Aberdeen.

“The impacts of Covid-19 have led to visitors looking for extra reassurance, with an emphasis on providing a safe, clean and welcoming experience.

"We have been able to adapt our approach to offering specialist support to businesses throughout the pandemic and we look forward to being able to resume our in-person visits later this year.

“As many businesses prepare for the season ahead, our Quality Assurance scheme can help us drive up standards across the industry, raising the bar. Our Stars represent world class excellence – helping businesses shine, enabling visitors to make informed choices and driving up investment in quality.”

VisitScotland has recently undertaken a pilot programme of visits to test the new procedures, health and safety protocols and risk assessments which have been introduced since the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a key first step towards the return of in-person grading visits for all members, which is expected to resume later this year.

Aberdeen Science Centre’s major redevelopment was made possible by generous support and funding from the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome - with additional funding provided by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Aberdeen City Council.

The project secured £1.5million from funders and sponsors including OPITO, Shell, Equinor, bp, The Robertson Trust, TAQA and CNOOC International to deliver quality exhibits and programmes to enhance the overall visitor experience at the venue, as well through outreach work.

For more information, visit www.aberdeensciencecentre.org

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