Lift off for new science centre and kid's space academy near Ipswich

The former Age UK Suffolk office which will be the home of the new science centre

The former Age UK Suffolk office which will be the home of the new science centre - Credit: Barry Pullen/citizenside.com

It's lift off for a new science centre and kid's space academy near Ipswich after plans were granted permission by the council.

Plans for the new centre, at the site of the former Age UK Suffolk offices in Claydon, were granted permission by Mid Suffolk District Council last week.

Forensic classes hosted by Kinetic Science Foundation

Forensic classes hosted by Kinetic Science Foundation - Credit: Kinetic Science Foundation

Run by registered charity Kinetic Science Foundation, the centre will offer children across the UK the chance to learn more about science and technology – including the chance to experience its own space academy.

Activities available would be similar to the famous National Space Centre in Leicester.

Debbie Ball, chief executive officer at Kinetic Science, said the building in Hill View Business Park makes for the perfect location.

Mrs Ball said: "There will be several different elements for children, including workshops, hands-on experiences for them to play and learn and also a space academy.

"There will be lots of fun mental puzzles for them to complete.

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"It will be the biggest science centre across five counties and will give children the chance to come and learn more about science.

"We are also in talks with Ipswich Borough Council about opening a centre in Ipswich town centre."

Kinetic Science launches Suffolk Science Festival in Bury St Edmunds. Pictured is CEO of Kinetic Sci

Debbie Ball, CEO of Kinetic Science Foundation - Credit: Gregg Brown

As well as offering day trips for pupils nationwide, the centre will also have facilities for overnight stays on a small scale.

There is ample parking on site for school buses, while Mrs Ball also hopes schools and families will be able to make use of the nearby picnic site in the summer months.

The charity, which first launched seven years ago, has previously hosted pop-up planetariums for children across the UK among other events.

Before the coronavirus lockdown, the charity would also travel throughout Suffolk and Norfolk for science roadshows – and would even offer forensics and crime solving classes.

It also hosts an annual science festival, although plans for both 2020 and 2021 have been pushed back until next year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Previous festivals have hosted more than 900 people wanting to learn more about science and technology.

It is hoped the centre will open in the summer, while an official launch event will coincide with World Space Week in October.

"We are really excited to get started," Mrs Ball added. 

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