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Centre of the Cell to get an embryo Neuron Pod 'sibling' at Whitechapel's Blizard Centre

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 December 2016

Planning go-ahead for second science pod

Planning go-ahead for second science pod

Archant

Planning permission has been given for a second £1.8m science education 'pod' at the famous Centre of the Cell complex in London's East End.

Whitechapel's Centre of the Cell science education cen treWhitechapel's Centre of the Cell science education cen tre

The 30ft ‘Neuron Pod’ is to be connected by a bridge to Queen Mary University’s Blizard Institute behind the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Construction begins by March and the university is aiming to have it open by this time next year.

The now-famous Centre of the Cell opened in 2009 currently has an embryo-shaped science centre suspended above Queen Mary’s biomedical research lab which is used for education programmes to inspire pupils to pursue careers in the sciences and involve the public with latest biomedical research.

Pupils form Whitechapel's Thomas Buxton Primary on educatfional trip to Centre of the CellPupils form Whitechapel's Thomas Buxton Primary on educatfional trip to Centre of the Cell

It has attracted 135,000 people for science activities since opening four years ago as a revolutionary inter-active education centre aimed at galvanising the next generation of scientists and biomedical researchers.

Now the new 70ft-long Neuron Pod—designed by leading architect Will Alsop who created the existing Pod and surrounding Blizard Building with a nerve cell in mind—follows on from four pods inside the building inspired by images of cells or molecules.

It has been planned to cater for a huge public demand, with additional space for live science shows, workshops, experiments, debates, films and exhibitions aimed at showing the latest advances in medical research.

Children enjoying science activity at Centre of the CellChildren enjoying science activity at Centre of the Cell

The space will also be used for Key Stage 4 activities for 14 to 16-year-olds and sixth form school visits and to develop more programmes for youngsters with learning difficulties, as well as being used for adult projects in the evenings and weekends.

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