Thank you event for Stansfeld supporters

This week we welcomed some of the amazing supporters of our Stansfeld Park development to a special drinks reception on site, to celebrate the launch of our new Science Oxford Centre (SOC) and Wood Centre for Innovation (WCFI) and to thank them for their help in making the project a reality.

On Wednesday evening, we opened the doors of Stansfeld for all to see – trustees, patrons, sponsors, city councillors, and those involved in the local innovation ecosystem. Our Outdoor Learning and Ecology Manager, Dr Roger Baker, took guests on a walk around the ponds and woodland and Matt Francis, our Project Operations Director, hosted tours of the innovation centre. However, it was the Science Oxford Centre exhibits that stole the show! Guests lined up to have a go on the scarf shooter, watch water freeze and build an electrical circuit. You wouldn’t have thought that the exhibits had been designed for primary-aged children!

In 2016, the Trust purchased the 18-acre woodland site with a derelict education centre from Birmingham City Council and now, three years on, we have a gleaming new building.  The Science Education Centre is the UK’s first indoor-outdoor education centre for primary-aged children and their families. It includes an exploration zone with twenty specially-designed hands-on exhibits where children can create their own experiments and make their own discoveries. There’s also a theatre, workshop space and a 15-acre woodland for outdoor STEM-themed activities. The Wood Centre for Innovation – named after our patrons, Sir Martin and Lady Audrey Wood – offers purpose-built office space and business support for science and tech start-ups and grown-on companies. Close to the biomedical research facilities at Old Road and the John Radcliffe Hospital, it is already home to a range of start-up companies (many medical-related) including Ultromics, Lurtis, Sportside, Triteq and ONT.

Our Chair, John Boyle and the Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson spoke to a packed audience in the central foyer to thank those involved and to celebrate what’s been achieved at Stansfeld Park. Our new centre opens an exciting new chapter for The Oxford Trust and will help us to increase our reach and impact and fulfil our original mission “to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise”.