Falcon Scott, the grandson of world-famous Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, visited Discovery Point today to officially open the five-star visitor attraction’s newly refurbished conference suite and museum galleries.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer, Discovery Point has undergone a dramatic £500,000 facelift. Located at Dundee’s waterfront, the award-winning visitor attraction has updated its gallery spaces to include hands-on fun such as a giant touch-screen to digitally explore Antarctic huts old and new and a dressing-up area where visitors can wear replica 1901 clothing or modern day polar gear – a perfect selfie opportunity!
Other new enhancements include a stunning audio-visual film The Adventure Begins with giant light-up ‘iceberg’ cubes as seats. The new Inspiration Gallery is devoted to an explorer theme, celebrating not only Scott of the Antarctic but other explorers of land, sea, air and space. Key new objects on display include a NASA flight suit, a bird specimen brought back by Shackleton and a sextant used by Sir Ranulph Fiennes.
The redevelopment also includes a new multi-purpose learning and activity space, already being well-used by schools but which will also play host to a vibrant programme of events from the summer including free family film screenings, art workshops and reminiscence sessions.
Some of the conference and event spaces on the first floor have also been dramatically transformed. The new Discovery Suite’s contemporary décor and integrated AV along with spectacular views over RRS Discovery, the V&A and the River Tay make it a great location for business meetings or social occasions.
The enhancements are well timed for the popular tourist destination as it anticipates a surge in visitors later this year when its neighbour V&A Dundee opens its doors in September.
During his visit, Falcon walked in the footsteps of his grandfather as he steps on board RRS Discovery, the Dundee-built ship famous for being led by Captain Scott on its maiden voyage – a scientific expedition to the Antarctic in 1901.
Falcon then officially opened the newly refurbished areas within the museum and attended a special celebratory drinks reception where guests had the opportunity to explore the new exhibits.
Gill Poulter, Heritage Director of Dundee Heritage Trust, commented:
“Everyone at Dundee Heritage Trust is very excited about our new, improved galleries here at Discovery Point and we hope visitors enjoy them as much as we do. It has been fantastic to not only celebrate Antarctic explorers, but all adventurers through our interactive exhibits. Welcoming Falcon Scott as our guest of honour has been a wonderful way to mark this special time at Discovery Point as we celebrate our 25th year as a visitor attraction.”
Generous funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and Dundee City Council has contributed towards the improvements at Discovery Point.
Sarah Daly from the Big Lottery Fund said:
“We are delighted that funding from the Coastal Communities Fund has been able to support Dundee Heritage Trust deliver on its ambitious refurbishment of the museum galleries and conference suite. The Trust is to be congratulated on creating the revitalised spaces and delivering yet another excellent attraction for Dundee, fully supporting the Coastal Communities Fund’s aim to support economic regeneration and growth.”
Falcon Scott said:
“I am honoured to be opening these newly upgraded spaces in an important year for this leading visitor attraction. I continue to be fascinated by my grandfather’s expedition and that’s the beauty of Discovery Point – that you can keep coming back continuing to learn not only about this historic Antarctic trip but about other tales of adventure and exploration.”