Climate change at heart of RRS Discovery after funding boost

The Discovery Point attraction in Dundee is halfway through a drive for funding for the £12m project.

Climate change at heart of RRS Discovery after funding boost PA Media

A multimillion-pound boost will see climate change placed at the heart of the Discovery Point heritage museum in Dundee.

Five new or improved major attractions at the home of the famous scientific research ship RRS Discovery are scheduled as the city looks to turn itself into a “an important centre of climate change heritage, science and learning”, said the Dundee Heritage Trust.

The £12m project is more than halfway funded after cash injections from both the Scottish Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the trust added.

Discovery Point Transformed will turn the site from “a traditional heritage museum into a new multi-element visitor attraction with a strong emphasis on climate change and environmental sustainability”, the trust said.

Changes will include a new attraction on the Discovery’s connection to climate change and the ocean environment as well as a new visitor centre on the roof giving panoramic views of the city.

A new gallery on polar exploration and a large space for hosting large exhibitions are also to be built alongside a completely revamped entrance and reception.

The scheme will also look at more “uncomfortable” aspects of Dundee’s links to climate change including pollution from factories during the Industrial Revolution and the city’s history of whaling.

The RRS Discovery was built in 1901 for polar expeditions and set off on what is now known as the Discovery Expedition (1901-4) to Antarctica, where scientists and crew carried out pioneering research work on the unexplored continent.

Some £900,000 in Scottish Government funding has been confirmed, with another £1.6m approved subject to a successful match-funding drive.

Meanwhile, a further £316,000 initial investment has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with another £2.55m expected,

This adds to the already more than £1m raised from grants, donations and sponsors, making the £12m project more than half funded, with two years to secure the balance.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I’m delighted that our funding will help Discovery Point enhance their offering and, in particular, emphasise the importance of climate change as Scotland prepares to host COP26 in November.”

Jim Pettigrew, chairman of Dundee Heritage Trust, said: “The transformation of Discovery Point will have a huge impact on the city, bringing visitors, jobs and investment to Dundee and helping to put the city on the map as a global destination for green tourism.

“We are delighted to have secured this financial support – a huge vote of confidence in our plans.”

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