After welcoming 15,000 visitors through its doors since opening in 2012, Falmouth Aquarium has been rebranded with a new front window display, which takes in the town colours, and has new attractions inside too.
At its re-launch last week, which was attended by Falmouth town manager, Richard Gates and Falmouth BID manager, Richard Wilcox, staff and volunteers at the aquarium in Church Street celebrated its achievements over the past two years.
Since opening it has reached over 30,000 people, provided ten jobs and trained over 100 students, unemployed and young people, giving them hands-on experience to add to their CVs; hosted 51 nursery children, 350 school children and provided free live encounters sessions to over 500 children and families, teaching them about local marine life.
With some difficult times behind them, those at the aquarium are looking forward and hoping to forge even closer links with the local community. Johanna Naradzay said: “Setting up anything is going to have its challenges, but it has been really well received and we are rated highly by our visitors, everyone goes away feeling really good about their experience.
“Local businesses have also supported us because they think it adds value to the town. We now want to do more within the community, that’s our plan. Having tourists is great, but having locals coming and support us with what we are doing is also great.”
The aquarium, which is a charity, has been praised by tourism and business leaders. Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall, said: “The Falmouth Aquarium has made a commendable impact on the community and tourism in its first two years. By raising awareness of marine conservation and bringing Falmouth’s maritime heritage to life, the aquarium has been a key player in enabling visitors to develop their understanding of the local area in a fun and engaging way.”
BID manager, Mr Wilcox added: “The aquarium is another good example of a proactive business with creative and buzzy ideas choosing to set up in Falmouth and working in partnership with various local organisations to make a success of their concept.”
The aquarium has launched new exhibits including live cuttlefish eggs in the Cornish Marine Life displays, an interactive fishing game and a marine “touch” exhibit for children. It is now seeking additional community support to enable it to provide even more opportunities for locals to learn about Cornwall’s marine life.
Anyone interested in supporting the aquarium should pop in or call 01326 212111 for more information.