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The Prince of Wales opens the Morphy Richards Engineering Education Centre

28th April 2015

The Prince of Wales (known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland) at the Morphy Richards Engineerinng Education Centre at the Dumfries House Estate which he officially opened, as part of a two day visit to Ayrshire

The Prince of Wales (known as the Duke of Rothesay in Scotland) at the Morphy Richards Engineerinng Education Centre at the Dumfries House Estate which he officially opened, as part of a two day visit to Ayrshire

The Prince of Wales visited a woodland education centre in Scotland today.

His Royal Highness, known as The Duke of Rothesay when in Scotland, made the trip to Cumnock in East Ayrshire to open the new space at Dumfries House Estate, a place with which he has had a long association.

The Prince officially opened the new Morphy Richards Engineering education centre at the estate.

The centre, which has both an indoors and an outdoors space, works to boost learning among primary and early secondary students in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

One of a number of different educational resources on the campus, it runs programmes for schools across Ayrshire and further afield, and offers hands-on activities linked to the subjects.

Before unveiling a commemorative plaque, His Royal Highness told those gathered at the new base: "The point about this centre, which is really exciting, I think, is that not only is it helping to enthuse young people with the idea of engineering in due course, it also has this engineering 'playground' here which is going to be the only centre of its kind in Scotland.

"I hope it will provide a particularly vital resource for teachers and pupils to promote the importance of engineering.

"I'm so delighted that Dumfries House has yet another really excellent educational resource on its estate, providing further opportunities for heritage-led regeneration for East Ayrshire and indeed beyond."

The Prince toured the centre, and the outdoor activity space linked to it, and chatted to pupils and teachers taking part in the various activities on offer.

Reflecting on the royal visit, outdoor instructor Duncan Chan, 29, who works on the estate, said: "All the children seemed ecstatic to see him."

Mary Star Leishman, 10, of New Cumnock Primary, met Charles after she had been playing at the water feature.

She said: "It was really exciting. I met him before when I won a competition and he shook my hand and gave me a prize.

"He kind of laughed with me because I was soaking. He was asking us what we were doing and why we were here. The centre's really fun and I like it."

Tassy Thompson, 46, who designed the centre's outdoor space, said: "Prince Charles has a powerful role to play. I think he's taken on that role of defender of nature.

"I think he could be of great influence to encourage schools, as they are doing, to come back into nature and let children get wet, get muddy and learn through fun and play."

The Prince will return to the estate tomorrow for a further engagement.

He headed a consortium of charities and heritage bodies which bought Dumfries House and its 2,000 acres of land in 2007, paving the way for the transformation of the estate into the educational space it is today.