The Community of Arran Seabed Trust’s pioneering visitor centre, the COAST Discovery Centre, will reopen its doors this Saturday April 1st. After a winter spent carrying out essential maintenance and running public events, the COAST team are excited to welcome island residents and visitors to the centre once again.
The centre provides an exciting and eye-opening insight into Arran’s amazing marine life, with opportunities to discover the underwater world for both children and adults. The centre also tells the incredible story of how the local arran community united to demand protection for their unique marine habitats and the abundant life within them.
New this year will be an exhibit on Arran’s marine life, past & present, with further plans to develop an outdoor mural, a specially developed underwater Virtual Reality experience to allow people to explore below the surface as well as new children’s activities. These additions will complement the existing catch-and-release aquariums that allow visitors to observe sea critters up close and personal, as well as rent-a-rockpooling kits and binoculars for those who want to venture out on their own.
Sophie Plant, COAST’s Education and Communications Manager says, “We can’t wait to once again welcome visitors to our amazing Discovery Centre. We have a really exciting summer season ahead of us and are looking forward to offering even more activities and opportunities to dive in, and get inspired by our amazing seas”.
The reopening will mark the beginning of a monumental year for COAST, ahead of the official launch of their brand-new research vessel, COAST Explorer, later on in the spring. The boat, which is fully wheelchair accessible and equipped with an on-board toilet, will be used to support COAST’s education and research activities. This will include public tours around Arran’s waters, allowing people of all ages to get involved with COAST’s research and inspire them to become citizen scientists.
What’s more, COAST will be announcing another full programme of summer events, including shore scrambles and snorkel taster sessions. Check out our What’s on page for more details and find all the details of the Discovery Centre here.