4 July 2001

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Discovery Centre: falling short of expectations

The Discovery Centre at Bay Street, which was trumpeted as an innovative concept for Malta when the complex was opened six months ago, is operating far below the expected level.

It is believed that talks are currently underway between the Bay Street management and education authorities to determine what can be done to save the Centre from eventual closure. A decision on the faith of the centre will be taken at the end of July.

An on site visit yesterday revealed that the Centre was only screening three historical movies about Malta in the theatre. The initial idea behind the Centre was to organise interactive exhibitions every three months tackling various subjects. Space was the theme of the first exhibition that made it to the Discovery Centre.

However, the concept, which was totally new to Malta did not take off as expected. The Discovery Centre requires a lot of money to be run on the lines laid out initially by the Bay Street management. Abroad, similar interactive centres are funded by corporations that are given some form of tax break for contributing positively towards the community.

Bay Street’s official web site describes the Discovery Centre as ‘a place where learning and fun are one.’ The concept behind the Centre is to provide edutainment for people from all walks of life. The concept offered a potential for teachers, students and families to tap educational resources that are unavailable elsewhere.

Nonetheless, it seems that the popularisation of science did not tingle the imagination of people and today the Discovery Centre is waiting there, still to be discovered.

But it is not only the Discovery centre which has been faced with problems; difficult parking conditions and the general decrepit environs before entering Bay street have kept many people away. Apart from the fact that many potential customers still appear to prefer Sliema and Valletta shopping centres

However, patrons are hoping that this will change in the future.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt