Bold plans for Wrexham Science Centre



Techniquest Glyndŵr has just announced the successful conclusion of negotiations for an additional space that will soon be available for the popular Science Discovery Centre in Wrexham to engage new audiences in the excitement of science and technology.

The former TJ Hughes premises located between Chester Street and HenblasSquare, Wrexham has lain empty since 2011 when the retailer closed its doors in the town for the last time. With the signing of a 12 month agreement the building will now have a new lease of life, playing host to a programme of community science events, exhibitions and fundraising events which are being planned by Techniquest Glyndŵr to take place over the next year.


Working with support from Wrexham County Borough Council, Wrexham Glyndwr University and the Welsh Government, the Techniquest Glyndŵr team are excited by this opportunity. It will help to reach new audiences, develop new partnerships and closer links within the town centre whilst retaining their existing presence on the university campus.

It is hoped that the events will be a prelude to the ambitious plans of North Wales Science Limited, the charity that runs Techniquest Glyndŵr, to move its operational base to the building in the centre of Wrexham in 2019.


In front of the former T.J. Hughes building, Henblas Square, Wrexham are Chair of the North Wales Science Board, Iwan Thomas (R) together with Scot Owen, Centre Manager Techniquest Glyndŵr (L) and Mandy Jones Exhibition & Events Coordinator Techniquest Glyndŵr.

Making the announcement on behalf of the charity, Iwan Thomas, Chair of the Board of Trustees said:

“Techniquest Glyndŵr has a fantastic offer and this opportunity to have a presence in the town centre will really help to put us on the map and attract even more visitors to the town.
This development will also add significantly to the cultural offer being developed by Wrexham County Borough Council, including the Ty Pawb arts hub, which will help to create additional footfall to all of the town centre businesses.

With this presence in a prominent location in the town,in addition to our current centre,we will significantly increase our ability to engage people of all ages with science and technology.”

The negotiations have been complex and have involved the owners of the building MCR Property Group, Wrexham Borough Council, North Wales Science Limited and Wrexham Glyndŵr University agreeing a feasible plan to take over the building on a short-term basis. This is prior to the outcome of a series of funding applications which will enable the transformation of the building into a major visitor attraction as a large science discovery centre right in the heart of Wrexham town centre.

Lynda Powell, Director of Operations, Wrexham Glyndŵr University and a board member of North Wales Science Limited said:

“The University had the foresight in setting up North Wales Science almost 15 years ago.Since then the charity has grown into the significant presence that Techniquest Glyndŵr has both on our campus and more widely in the community.

With our close working relationship developed over the years we are pleased to have been able to assist with this venture as part of a long term growth plan for Techniquest Glyndŵr.

I would particularly like to acknowledge the proactive support of the building’s owners MCR Property Group which has made this development possible.”

Techniquest Glyndŵr is launching a major fundraising initiative which will involve eventsand applications to a variety of potential funders including charitable trusts and local industry. The charity also hopes to establish stronger links with local technology businesses as part of the bold development plan by making possible the acquisition of exciting new interactive exhibits and the development of additional science workshops and shows.

Scot Owen the Centre Manager said:

“For a long time we have been looking at ways to have a more visible presence in Wrexham, and our current location has made it difficult to attract the sort of visitor numbers we want in order to ensure a longer term sustainable future for the centre.

The opening of the temporary town centre venue will be a great way to celebrate our 15th year of operation and we intend that this new presence will help ensure that Techniquest Glyndŵr will be thriving for many more years to come.”

Techniquest Glyndŵr’s Exhibition and Events Coordinator, Mandy Jones commented:

“Recent news showed that Wrexham has a growing tourism economy which is now worth nearly £116 million.
With this additional presence we are hoping to be able to contribute further to that growth by attracting new visitors to the town and this is the exciting first step towards developing a permanent town centre site.

We are looking to the public and local and regional industry to help us achieve our charity’s ambition to develop this additional base into an exciting ‘go to’ venue right at the heart of the community”

 Comments are invited about ideas on what could be incorporated within the new base - activities, facilities, exhibitions, events. Please leave your comments below with your suggestions

Posted in News.


  1. Please help us with our funding bid by leaving comments below as to activities, features, events or facilities that you would like to see in the new centre . We need to demonstrate support and input from the public about what we are proposing.

  2. Inevitably people will use the space as a cut through, as it was when TJ Hughes was open. Perhaps make this more interactive as well as power generating with something like (I’m not affiliated with them in any way!) and demonstrate to people some of the more innovative power generation tech that is out there!

    • mmmm… could try for sponsorship for that one! – however we intend to re-create the cut-through so that might be an idea!! Thanks for your suggestion!

  3. Combining some form of soft play area with science learning would be great – this would also bring in families who might not have otherwise visited…..

  4. Dundee science place we went to had a face cut in half so you could see the inside parts, the climbing frame lead to the nose and a green snot slide from that. Great for a variety of ages.
    My daughter also loved the body on an operating table with access to all the bits inside and was able to practice taking a part out.

    • Thank you – we already do have a body exhibit in the centre with all the body parts removeable like a jigsaw – not on an operating table though!

  5. Possibly a virtual reality ride! A couple of seats located together on a hydraulic floor simulating a ride?
    A slide from first floor to ground floor (thinking of Google’s HQ) breakout areas for seating an indoor / outdoor space

  6. Just a list of random thoughts
    – Soft play with area for small and older children ideally serving good coffee for parents
    – indoor playground slides climbing frames etc based
    – A function room space that could be booked for children’s birthday party events and then possibly offer an activity … bouncy castle/soft play or bouncy castle assault course/make your own gloop/slime stations/some sort of interactive space journey walk/talk?/roller space silent disco?! Catering could be optional or bring your own.
    – sensory rooms
    – puzzle solving stations

  7. How about a sensory room, where people can see what options are available, and try out to see if they like it or benefit from it. Then have a display and provide information about what equipment is installed and the science behind why it is supposed to work. Thinking that adults, young people who may benefit, if they have already been placed on autistic spectrum, or they just benefit. They could then research how to buy the equipment for home. Equipment could be donated by suppliers (they could get future sales from it). So it could be used as a taster space, assessment centre area or science information centre. During off peak times, you could let local charities use it free. Because equipment is expensive to buy. I am thinking lights, sound, interactive materials.

  8. Area with visual illusions art. Information explains how they work (eye/brain). Examples of artists who specialised in it, like Esher. Then area where people can create their own illusions using pre cut materials. You could recreate some of the esher type drawings in 3D format to help people understand why they could not work. Get one of the new floor painting artists to do one next to area. (would bring in crowds) see Julian Beever uk artist type of work.

  9. Team building area with wood and materials to build bridges and platforms to navigate around floor space . Could be used for school groups. hired by companies for staff training and for families. If you had the space additional two side by side parallel strip lanes, so could run as competition building and navigation area.

  10. Crime scene room, all the clues and evidence can be located in it, with a story. Participants have to locate clues/evidence. Then they use basic forensic methods to compare evidence. Then become detectives to legally build prosecution case. Groups could progress through all 3 sections, or if time is short they could split into 3 and work independently (you provide evidence). Good for school groups, corporate days or birthday parties for adults or young people. Is Mandy still with you?

  11. Chemical area. Where people can read about what ingteadiants are in the products they use. What makes soap foam and clean. Why paints are different. Have a section for environmentaly friendly products too, so people can compare and understand effects on the environment. Like chemicals getting in water courses, and sea. This could lead to an environmental area, where you explain pollution of the land and sea. Where all the landfill goes, and how long things like plastic lasts. Explain about recycling and how people can reduce the cost to the planet. Interactive area where people can create their own plan on how they can recycle more, repair not replace items, and why buying some materials are better for the environment than others due to the manufacturing process used, how long they will last and if they can be recycled. May get grants due to information to help meet recycling targets. Have a corporate area where businesses can come and see how they can become more environmentaly conscious or carbon neutral. Could have advisors from organisations that do evening talks, or provide literature, or stay in the area to advise people. Opportunity to inform, educate and still be interesting to all ages.

  12. Area where people can create their own art sculptures using recycled or reclaimed materials. Some companies offer free materials that are surplus to their requirements. I have 1st hand experience of this if you need help.

  13. Have a new products design centre, where inventors can come and discuss their ideas, collaborate, anf have a think tank. Their could be talks, lectures and material launches. You could have a sort of dragons den type event. Encourage visitors to create a new product that could help the environment. Help people realise they don’t have to be qualified or experienced to have a great idea that can solve a real problem and help lots of people. Eg. How to collect rain water, collect litter, reduce waste. Anyone can have a great idea, but it may need others to make it work

  14. How about a messy space? Somewhere for kids to play be creative and be allowed to.make a mess without the fear of grown ups telling them off.
    A running water theme where problem solving allows the children to see their efforts rewarded by water flows down tubes etc.
    A crystal maze type of globe that blows coloured strips for teams to go head to head to collect the most.
    Assault course for energetic people or children with conditions like ADHD.
    A disabled space for wheelchair users to manouvere around bridges through spaces etc . Maybe incorporate a treasure hunt.
    A wall to make shadows on using special lighting.
    A giant room with items larger than average, or smaller making visitors feel bigger.
    Games on the floor using lights that kids can physically move about on.

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