Glasgow Science Centre
Glasgow Science Centre is a visitor attraction located on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. It is a purpose-built science centre composed of three principal buildings which are the Science Mall, an IMAX cinema and the Glasgow Tower. The Scottish tourist board, VisitScotland, awarded Glasgow Science Centre, located in the Clyde Waterfront Regeneration area, a five star rating in the visitor attraction category. As well as its main location, Glasgow Science Centre also manages the visitor centre at Whitelee Wind Farm, which opened to the public in 2009.

Buildings

Science Mall
The Science Mall is a titanium-clad crescent shape structure that houses three floors of over 250 interactive science-learning exhibits, a Science Show Theatre and the Glasgow Science Centre Planetarium. The planetarium contains a Zeiss optical-mechanical projector that projects images of the night sky onto a 15m diameter dome.

IMAX Cinema
The IMAX cinema is the first and currently only IMAX cinema to have been built in Scotland. The single auditorium seats 370 in front of a rectangular screen measuring 60 feet by 80 feet and has the capability to show 3D films as well as standard 2D films in IMAX format. It opened to the public in October 2000, several months prior to the opening of the two other buildings.

Glasgow Tower
At 127 metres tall the Glasgow Tower is currently the tallest tower in Scotland. It holds a Guinness World Record for being the tallest tower in the world in which the whole structure is capable of rotating 360 degrees. The whole structure rests upon a 65 centimetre diameter thrust bearing which it allows it to rotate freely. The tower has two elevators each with a 12 person capacity, but this is normally limited to 6 guests plus a single member of staff for reasons of comfort. There is also an emergency staircase, comprising 523 stairs from the Cabin level to the Podium. Design It is shaped like an aerofoil (as if an aircraft wing had been set in the ground vertically), with computer-controlled motors to turn it into the wind in order to reduce wind resistance. The tower, previously known as the Millennium Tower, was the winning design in an international competition to design a tower for the city centre of Glasgow. The tower is the spiritual successor to the Clydesdale Bank Tower that stood on approximately the same spot during the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. Tallest building debate When completed in 2001, it became the tallest tower in Scotland. The website for the tower claims it is "The tallest freestanding building in Scotland". Although the tower has an observation desk (at 105 metres), it does not have floors continuously from the ground and therefore it is not considered a building by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). If it had gone ahead, the planned 39-storey Elphinstone Place residential tower in the city's financial district would have replaced Glasgow Tower as the tallest structure in Glasgow, and become Scotland's tallest building, however the project was cancelled in July 2008 with the developers citing the credit crunch for the decision. At present, Inverkip Power Station is Scotland's tallest free-standing structure, with the Black Hill Transmitter mast the tallest man-made structure overall. History The tower has been plagued by safety and engineering problems throughout its history. Problems with the Nigerian-made thrust bearing on which it rotates led to it being closed between February 2002 and August 2004. On 30 January 2005, ten people were trapped in the lifts and only rescued after five hours. Following the incident, the tower re-opened on December 21, 2006. In September 2007, a charity abseil event was held on Glasgow Tower.

History
Opened to the public in June 2001, Glasgow Science Centre is part of the on-going redevelopment of Pacific Quay, an area which was once a cargo port known as Prince's Dock. The architects of the Glasgow Science Centre were Building Design Partnership, however the Glasgow Tower was originally designed by the architect Richard Horden with engineering design by Buro Happold. It was built at a cost of around £75 million, including £10 million for Glasgow Tower, with over £37 million coming from the Millennium Commission.

Funding Issues
In June 2004, it was announced that about a fifth of the workforce were to be made redundant following the creation of a funding deal with the Scottish Executive. Then in June 2008, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Nicol Stephen, stated that Glasgow Science Centre was facing a 40% cut in government funding. Prime Minister Gordon Brown commented on this issue during Prime Minister's Question Time saying, "It's unfortunate in Glasgow that as a result of the SNP, funding has been cut, and they will live to regret that". Although funding for the Scottish Science Centres as a whole has actually increased, it is now being split between four centres using a formula based on visitor numbers, and Glasgow is the only centre to face a reduction in budget. This led to the announcement in July 2008 that 28 full-time jobs were to be cut as a direct consequence of the cuts "in order to secure Glasgow Science Centre's future", according to the Chief Executive, Kirk Ramsay.

In the media
Glasgow Science Centre is located in the Pacific Quay area, and as such, is surrounded by the media centres that form the Digital Media Quarter, a Scottish Enterprise development initiative, With the opening of the new STV headquarters in June 2006 and the beginning of broadcast programming from BBC Pacific Quay in the summer of 2007, it can be expected that more programming will be filmed in the area. In the CBeebies television programme Nina and the Neurons , the title character Nina is a neuroscientist who works at Glasgow Science Centre. In reality, Nina is played by the actress Katrina Bryan who is not a staff member at Glasgow Science Centre. Several programmes including CBBC's Do Something Different were filmed in and out of Glasgow Science Centre.

Media

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