PLANS to create a new science centre in Christchurch have been reignited as plans for a major new development move forward.

The proposal for a science and engineering discovery centre have been long in the pipeline following the closure of the Museum of Electricity in Bargates back in 2012.

But now, the opportunity to have a science centre as part of the redevelopment of Christchurch police station site has arisen.

Developer Aster Homes' plans for the site, which includes the former magistrates courts, consist of 131 homes, 39 sheltered accommodation units, “flexible” commercial and community space which could include a museum, a new link road between Barrack Road and Bargates, and public open space.

Mission Ignition, which is the group behind the science centre idea, have been trying to persuade the owners of the Museum of Electricity to reinvent it as a science centre, but with limited success as yet.

And the people leading the scheme say the centre would enable visitors and residents of Christchurch to experience, handle and explore cutting-edge technology through exhibits and a maker space.

Themed exhibitions would reflect local science-based business and technology invented in Christchurch, such as mobile phone technology, the Black Box flight data recorder, night-sight optics, and the Bailey Bridge.

"Adrian Dwyer and I are passionate about engaging people in how science and technology affects our lives and can change the world for the better.

"Having an informed conversation, with young and old, is vital to addressing problems faced by society and ensuring people have a choice of the full range of career options", said Mission re-Ignition co-founder Dr Jan Peters MBE.

"Local and national science and engineering-based companies are desperately short of key skills, so it is critical to their success that we help show people the possible choices they can have."

"Situated at the opposite end of the High Street from the Priory church, Castle ruins and Red House Museum, this ‘go-to’ location will significantly increase footfall to shops and cafes", said Adrian Dwyer, co-founder of Mission re-Ignition.

"A key element of the centre would be the provision of much needed resource for community groups, such as U3A, Christchurch History Society and Café Scientifique."

Amanda Williams, group development director at Aster Group said, “Our vision is that ‘everyone has a home’ and at the heart of our organisation, we are focused on providing homes for those that need them, and at a price point they can afford. This proposed development of affordable housing in Christchurch, is a great example of how we take feedback from a local community and shape a plan that delivers a mixture of homes which serve a local need. We look forward to hearing feedback on our application in the new year.”