Wirral's new Eureka Science and Discovery Centre set to inspire future scientists and engineers
A new visitor attraction has a secret weapon in its quest to encourage young people to become the engineers and scientists of the future.
A giant cat will greet customers at Eureka! Science + Discovery Centre, which is being fitted out in time for an Autumn term opening.
The friendly feline, which has yet to be named, peers out from a first floor balcony in the building next to the Mersey Ferries Terminal in Seacombe, Wirral.
The pet is one of a number of supersized objects which bosses hope will wow youngsters into thinking about their homes from a new perspective.
Programme Director Tudor Gwynn said: "We're going to create this new space that will allow children and young people to explore key areas in science technology, engineering and maths, in a very creative way and create opportunities for them to meet other people working in those fields on Merseyside."
Eureka!, the educational charity behind the National Children's Museum in Halifax, got the keys to the building in March 2022 after being asked by Merseytravel to reinvent its Spaceport attraction for the 21st century.
The attraction is now coming to life in preparation for its opening on Friday 11 November 2022.
Everything in this unique space has been co-created with children and young adults from across the Liverpool City Region and local growth industries.
Liz Peniston, content and experience director, said: "This is the best job in the world. I love being creative and using my imagination.
"We know that it's going to be an authentic experience, something which we know children and young people are going to thoroughly enjoy and participate in."
Programme Director Tudor Gwynn chats to Andy Bonner about the centre.
Three main zones will focus on the subjects of bodies, homes and nature.
The exhibits are still being installed, but prepare for a climbing tree, nature den, giant kettle and lots of talk about poo.
With magnificent views of the Liverpool waterfront, it is situated in a part of Merseyside which is on the cusp of a much-needed transformation.
It is an area where aspirations for school-leavers can be low traditionally.
The attraction has received £11.3m of funding, more than half from the city region's Strategic Investment Fund, and is working in tandem with the area's desire to develop its science and engineering ambitions.
Tudor Gwynn added: "For us it was a unique opportunity to come to a working ferry terminal that has tens of thousands of people going through it every month to come to a place that is just on the verge of the regeneration, where you feel as if we are start of a new beginning.
"It just felt like too good of an opportunity to miss."
Meanwhile, the pet cat has moved a paw closer to getting a name.
Six options have now been shortlisted, with the winner announced in time for the opening.