The Big Lottery Fund and The Nisbet Trust to support We The Curious ‘Make Space’ project

Wednesday 12 September | Jen Forster

The Big Lottery Fund and The Nisbet Trust, have been confirmed as the first funding partners for ‘Make Space’; an ambitious and ground-breaking collaboration between We The Curious, artists and communities across Bristol to create and co-design a set of multi-disciplinary exhibits and experiences for the major new exhibition, which is currently being developed at We The Curious, due to open in summer 2020.

As part of We The Curious’ new Manifesto, and vision to “create a culture of curiosity”, the Make Space project aims to develop stronger social purpose, by exchanging ideas across communities, and across disciplines.

Make Space is a two year project which specifically aims to build relationships across marginalized Bristol communities by bringing two community groups together (and another third group, yet to be confirmed) on a six month course to build and strengthen their relationships with We The Curious, and to co-design three exhibits.

An educational charity, We The Curious receives no central government funding, and relies on the support of funding bodies, local businesses and generous individuals for the ongoing development of its charitable aims; the Big Lottery Fund have pledged to support £9,975 for the first year of the Make Space project, and The Nisbet Trust will fund £15,000 per year for the two year project.

We The Curious is currently working with Knowle West Media Centre and Southmead Development Trust; each community group will be shaping the development of an exhibit which will feature as part of the innovative new exhibition, which is all based around questions from people in the city of Bristol.

The Make Space project is part of We The Curious’ commitment to more diverse participation, and is especially designed to give a space to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities, and to build engagement in culture from diverse audiences – with the aim of building exhibitions which starts a conversation, connecting people and ideas, sharing and inviting questions and stories. It will help to make experiences more culturally relevant, reducing the feeling in some communities that science is ‘not for them’.

Will Hunter, Creative Producer for We The Curious said:

“Working with our chosen partners for the Make Space project has been brilliant; it’s a much more open and collaborative way of us working, and it’s enabled a really open creative process. We had some amazing submissions from communities across Bristol, and we’re really delighted to be working with Knowle West Media Centre and Southmead Development Trust – their ideas are just amazing, and it’s a pleasure to be able to play in part in bringing those ideas to reality. We can’t wait to see what exhibits and experiences that are produced at the end of phase 1 of the project.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Big Lottery Fund and The Nisbet Trust for their support in this project, and for allowing us to keep building strong relationships both in, and across communities in Bristol.” 

Anthea Mustard, Chair of Team Southmead added:

“The Make Space work we have done with Will and The We The Curious Team has been really good fun and taken us down paths none of us expected; as we explored how we wanted to see Southmead projected in present life rather than as it typically was done inaccurately in the past.

Family values and community spirit are ingrained in Southmead as demonstrated by the communities’ willingness to step forward at all levels and help whatever the need. We’ve been getting involved in the plans to redesign the heart of Southmead; the area feels the natural home for developing a piece of art to shape the changing face of the community. At first we felt daunted by the prospect of recruiting an artist to represent us but we’re pleased to welcome Charlotte as our artist; we’re excited at the prospect of working with her to create a piece of art that portrays our feelings as an emerging community ready and able to stand confidently, leading Southmead as a thriving vibrant community within Bristol where people want to come and see what’s really happening here in 2018!”

Work is currently underway with the first two partners (a third partner to be confirmed), with the aim of completing the exhibit designs by Spring 2019. The exhibits will then be installed in We The Curious, and will become part the new ground floor exhibition space in summer 2020. The Make Space project will then move into Phase 2 in early 2019, where a further round of partners will be selected, and more exhibits developed for the new exhibition space.

For more information about We The Curious, visit or call 0117 915 1000 (Monday – Friday 9-5).



For further information, images, or to arrange a press trip to We The Curious, please contact Jen Forster – Communications Manager, on 0117 9157 152/07967 334 152 or

You can also follow We The Curious on Twitter (@wethecurious_) or on Facebook (wethecurious). For more information, please visit


Editor’s Notes :

About We The Curious:

We The Curious was previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with an aim to “make science accessible to all”, it opened in 2000, and welcomed over 5 million visitors in the past 17 years. At-Bristol relaunched as We The Curious in September 2017, with a new vision that is committed to creating a culture of curiosity.

We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit.  We’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.


About Big Lottery Fund:

The Big Lottery Fund funds projects and activities that make communities stronger and more vibrant, and that are led by the people who live in them.

We support charities, community groups, and people with great ideas - local or national, large or small. We also bring people and groups together: to share experiences, learn from each other and try new ways of working.

About The Nisbet Trust:

The Nisbet Trust is an independent charitable Trust created in 2012 by the Nisbet Family. It makes grants to charitable organisations in Greater Bristol who work in social welfare, education and the arts.