Fire on roof at We The Curious - no reopening date just yet

Wednesday 4 January | Jen Forster

On Saturday 9 April 2022, a fire broke out up on our roof, located on a section of our solar panels.

Avon Fire & Rescue Service and the police arrived quickly and dealt with the fire; all our staff and visitors were evacuated safely.

Image credit: Martin Booth

The evidence indicates that damage to the photovoltaic solar panels was most likely caused by birds, which caused a fault in the electrical system. This then resulted in a fire spreading to the roof.

We’ve sustained some significant fire and water damage to the roof, our second floor and our building systems.

 

Image credit: 3Sixty 

 

What does it mean for now?

It means that we don't currently have a reopening date.

The water damage is quite extensive, and crucially, it’s in our building systems – so we need to replace our heating and cooling systems. Our electrical systems have also been affected. 

We’re committed to becoming carbon net zero by 2030, so this work falls in line with our project pathway to reach that target, and will significantly reduce our energy consumption once reopen. 

The schedule of works is coming together, but it’s a very complex project and so we don’t have a reopening date yet. 
 

As soon as we have any updates about reopening, we’ll post updates here on our website and social media channels.
 

Image credit: Lisa Whiting 
 

What have our teams been doing?
 

In short, a lot!

Since the end of April, our brilliant teams have been out at about in schools, community centres, libraries, children’s centres and free festivals across the city, as well as events outside our building.

Here’s some top stats:

  • Our ‘out and about’ programme reached over 12,300 people during the summer – that’s our Planetarium filled up 129 times over! Or almost half of Ashton Gate stadium!
  • 86 different events - across 13 postcodes from BS1 – 16
  • Working with 31 different partners
  • Covering 235 miles in our electric van
  • And bucket loads of wonderful feedback from our partners! 

 

Image credit: Lisa Whiting 
 

Need to contact us?

Bookings, tickets, membership and gift vouchers - info@wethecurious.org

Venue hire events – venue.hire@wethecurious.org

School trips - education@wethecurious.org

We’ve taken tickets off sale, so you won’t be able to book tickets at the moment.

 

Thank you! We’ve been bowled over by the messages of support and help that we’ve received already. It really does mean a lot and makes a huge difference. 

 

Support us
 

As an educational charity, we’re so grateful for the incredible response we’ve had so far; we’ve received £50,556 in donations from our friends and supporters. If you have donated or shared, thank you! 

Despite closure, we're passionately committed to turning the challenge of closure into new opportunities for communities and schoolchildren, and continuing our work as a charity.

You might know that we were closed for over a year during the pandemic, which hit us pretty hard financially. We were still in our first year of reopening and recovery when the fire happened. In addition, we’ve all seen how the pandemic has worsened educational and social inequality for children and young people. This need and our commitment to supporting them is not on pause just because our venue is temporarily closed.

We’re working closely with local community groups and schools around how we can meet their needs now - from ‘playing out’ learning activities across the city to school roadshows - and once we’re reopened.

Your support can make this happen and help us to build back stronger for everyone. If you’d like to get involved, please donate at justgiving.com/wethecurious