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Our History

The Trust was formed in 1996 by a group of local businessmen who joined together to raise funds to refurbish the Mansfield Brewery Victorian Brewhouse and establish an interactive discovery centre through the provision of a tourist attraction. The beneficiaries would be families and school children. Following a successful fundraising campaign, Phase 1 opened in 1998 as a brewing exhibition and tours around the Mansfield Brewery. Phase 1 was closed in 2000 following a successful grant application to the Lottery Fund and match funding from local businesses. Phase 2 opened in 2002, providing a fully interactive visitor centre based around the process of design and technology.

The visitor centre was host to over 165,000 children and adults between April 2002 and April 2015, including c.78,000 children who visited the galleries to enhance their curriculum lessons in design and technology. During the latter couple of years, there has been a decline in the number of visitors to the attractions, particularly school children.

In March 2015, the Trustees took the difficult decision to close the visitor centre and to channel its funds into supporting school curriculum activities and also those of the local community primarily for children.

The Trust has an excellent track record of supporting schools with funding to enhance their design and technology curriculum activities and aims to build on this good work by diversifying into other areas of providing funding to schools and community education projects.