Building Extension: National Space Academy

Project Summary

Visitor numbers to the National Space Centre in the Pioneer Park area of Leicester have significantly increased over the last few years and as a result of this success the centre is planning to extend and improve its facilities. The project will create 850m2 of flexible space for temporary exhibitions, workshops, lectures and corporate events at different times and on different days as required.  The space will be multi-purpose but dedicated to the National Space Academy to ensure that it is set up as the UK’s premier venue for space events and for presentations from the best speakers, teachers and role models from around the world.

During school holidays and at weekends it will host live presentations, temporary exhibitions and overspill catering facilities to provide new activities and draw volume from elsewhere in the building.  During term time it will be used for school workshops, conferences and other corporate events according to demand; exploiting the ability to split the space into several units of varying sizes.  At all times it will be used to present high profile space events, such as conferences, rocket launches and live link-ups to the International Space Station, or guest speakers such as visiting astronauts and scientists.

It will have cutting edge audio-visual facilities and multiple projection screens to present core subjects related to satellite applications and Earth observation, with content aligned to the work of the University of Leicester’s Space Research Centre and its prospective future activities on an adjacent site.

The project is part of the Space Centre’s masterplan to improve the centre, which also include improvements to the entrance and the visitor shop and the centres Space Mission Simulation Facility.

Project Sponsors: The National Space Centre

LLEP Investment: £1m

Project Status: On-going

Start Date:  July 2018

End Date:   December 2019


  • 850m2 of flexible exhibition/presentation/event space
  • six special space events welcoming a combined 2,400 people
  • an additional 12 A level students per annum entering science/engineering-related university courses or higher apprenticeship programmes
  • three careers events per annum (Year 10, Year 12 and Graduate/Post-graduate) for 400 students to meet the companies that need their skills
  • an additional 30,000 family visitors per annum
  • an additional 7,200 schools visitors per annum
  • an additional £400,000 worth of corporate business per annum
  • an additional £200,000 annual surplus for The Charity


Quote from recipient about impact of funding:

Chas Bishop,  Chief Executive, National Space Centre said “The National Space Centre continues to grow both its visitor numbers and the breadth of its education, space communication and creative work.  It employs nearly 200 people and makes a significant contribution to life and to business in Leicester and Leicestershire.  The LLEP’s help in securing £1.0m Local Growth Fund support for the next stage of its development underpins Leicester’s status as an internationally recognised ‘space city’ and, in partnership with the University of Leicester, will extend the National Space Centre’s importance as a cornerstone of Space Park Leicester”

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