Competition opens to find 25,000th visitor to Mersey Gateway Visitor centre
Throughout the week of May 8 – 12, people heading to the Mersey Gateway visitor centres at the Catalyst Science and Discovery Museum in Widnes and in Runcorn Shopping Centre, are invited to enter a competition to find its 25,000th visitor.
Since opening, the centres, which tell the story of Halton’s iconic bridge and road project, has welcomed people from across the globe, and now one lucky person has the chance to win a guided site tour for two people.
The free-to-attend centre, located at the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, first opened to the public in February 2015 to tell the story of the Mersey Gateway project.
A second smaller centre is based at Runcorn Shopping Centre, where people can ask questions about the project.
Since opening, the centres have been extremely popular attracting thousands of people.
Jill Doyle, Communications Manager at Merseylink, said: “There has been massive interest in the project locally, but there have also been visitors from as far away as Australia and the United States.
“Reaching our 25,000th visitor is a huge occasion, so we decided to celebrate by offering people the chance to win an ‘access all areas’ guided tour of the bridge site for the winner and one guest.”
To take part in the contest, visitors to the centres in Widnes or Runcorn, between May 8 – 12, will be asked to fill out a competition entry.
The winner will be chosen at random on May 16.
The Catalyst Centre offers impressive views across the River Mersey, and construction of the Mersey Gateway bridge from its rooftop observatory.
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “Marking the 25,000th visitor to the centre is a great achievement and is testament to the interest this project has generated, locally, nationally and internationally.
“Our centres are staffed by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable team of volunteers, who are eager to share their local knowledge with visitors.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their hard work and commitment since the centres opened, they have represented Halton admirably and tirelessly.”
There is a wealth of materials on display at the visitor centre in Widnes, including a giant steel anchorage box weighing an enormous 620 kilograms which shows a cross section of one of the steel stay cables.
Visitors can use a number of interactive display screens to access a massive amount of project information, including videos, photographs, a live site webcam and a special children’s zone.
Both visitor centres are free to attend and are staffed by Mersey Gateway volunteers who act as a key point of contact for the public. The volunteers, who are all fully trained by Merseylink, are on hand to answer questions on everything from local history and heritage, environment and ecology to the bridge construction itself.
The Widnes visitor centre is open from 10am-4pm, Tuesday through to Sunday (the Catalyst Centre is closed on Mondays apart from during the school holidays and bank holidays).
The Runcorn visitor centre is based at the main square in Runcorn Shopping Centre and is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.