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Gloucestershire Business News

Engineering giant announces new partnership

Spirax Sarco is backing a not-for-profit company that aims to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Cheltenham Science Group has partnered with Spirax Sarco following support from the Cheltenham-based engineering firm.

Alongside a £5,000 donation, Spirax Sarco has assisted with the refurbishment of a new, hands-on science and technology centre in Coronation Square, Cheltenham by providing advice, contacts, and design, production and installation services.

It is also currently developing a programme for its career placement students, who will have the opportunity to volunteer for Cheltenham Science Group as part of their placement.

The centre, which will be the only one of its kind in North Gloucestershire, will provide a hub for local young people and their families to experience science and maths in a more practical and engaging way, both after school and during the holidays.

Due to officially launch in early June, the centre includes games and puzzles, access to digital microscopes and a high-powered wind tunnel, with activities available for a wide range of age groups.

Founded in 2015 by former secondary school teachers Kirsty and David Watson, Cheltenham Science Group aims to encourage young people to study STEM subjects in order to support the growth of business, both locally and nationally.

It provides outreach programmes to local schools, nurseries and after-school groups, and has plans to expand its community outreach once the centre is open.

It also engages with the community at local events, including the Cheltenham Science Festival.

David Watson, founder and director of Cheltenham Science Group, said: "By establishing a hands-on science hub that is both accessible and affordable for the local community, we hope to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, who will be vital in tackling pressing global issues, such as climate change.

"As Cheltenham Science Group doesn't receive government funding, we rely on the support of STEM businesses and institutions such as Spirax Sarco.

"We will continue to need support as our company grows, and we look forward to working with our partners as we establish Gloucestershire's first major science centre."

Gavin Huxtable, regional general manager, Northern Europe at Spirax Sarco, said: "With so many engineering establishments across the UK reporting a skills shortage, we need to encourage the next generation to take up STEM subjects as early as possible.

"Community interest companies such as Cheltenham Science Group play a vital role in demonstrating how science, technology, engineering and maths can be applied to the real world in a way that is both engaging and informative.

"We are proud to be partnering with Cheltenham Science Group and look forward to working with the team."

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