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Thursday, 5 July, 2001, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Queen opens city science centre
Queen and Duke
The Queen and Duke viewed the 75m complex
The Queen has formally opened Glasgow's state-of-the-art Science Centre after a troubled start for the new attraction.

The centre, by the River Clyde, was forced to close its doors just one day after it was first opened to the public because of licensing problems with the city council.

However, managers now hope that Thursday's formal launch will draw a line under a fortnight of controversy.

The Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh for the launch of the 75m complex, which includes a Science Mall, an Imax theatre and the Glasgow Tower.

Duke at periscope
The Duke gets an interesting perspective

The royal party was met by the city's Lord Provost Alex Mosson and the Queen and Duke were introduced to the welcoming party, including the centre's chairman George Bennett and chief executive Paul Smith.

She also met William Rae, the new chief constable of Strathclyde Police.

The Science Mall, which is the centrepiece of the complex, initially opened on 21 June.

However, an embarrassing hitch with an entertainment licence to admit the public forced the attraction to close its doors the following day.

The opening was further delayed due to concerns over the safety of railings on the building's upper floors.


We are extremely proud of its scale, its mission and its ambitious aims

George Bennett, centre chairman
The first phase of the lottery-funded project, the Imax Theatre, opened to the public last October.

The final part of the centre, the Glasgow Tower, which is the world's first revolving tower, was due to be open on Thursday but is now expected to open to the public at the weekend.

The Queen viewed the Science Mall as the Duke was accompanied to the underground base of the Tower before being shown a periscope which overlooks the entire complex.

The Queen spent more than half an hour touring a number of the 300 exhibits, including a series of pods offering an interactive display on genetics and the human body.

She also viewed a small mechanical puppet show explaining the creation of Dolly the Sheep - the world's first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.

Science centre tower
The tower will open at the weekend
Addressing the royal couple, dignitaries and members of the public, Mr Bennett described the complex as a "vast, significant and rich source of education for all of Scotland".

He said: "The Science Centre, as you can see, is a unique project and we are extremely proud of its scale, its mission and its ambitious aims.

"We are also extremely proud of its location here on the banks of the Clyde.

"For the local community it is not just a visitor attraction, it is a signal of the redevelopment of the Clyde and it is a vast, significant and rich source of education for all of Scotland."

After unveiling a plaque, to be located at the centre's entrance, the Queen was presented with a colour painting depicting an artist's impression of the new centre and the Duke was presented with a photograph of the attraction at night.

Leaving the centre after almost an hour the couple were then greeted by a crowd of about 400 people.

The Queen stopped briefly to receive a number of floral tributes and a piece of artwork from some of the assembled public.

A spokesman for the Science Centre said the finishing touches were being made to the cabin of the Glasgow Tower and it was expected to be opened this weekend.

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