Dark Space Planetarium will be out of this world

Work on the Dark Space Planetarium in Kirkcudbright has now been completed and it will be ready for launch this summer.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 3:00 pm
Kirkcudbright Dark Space Planetarium is looking forward to welcoming visitors this summer
Kirkcudbright Dark Space Planetarium is looking forward to welcoming visitors this summer

The planetarium has been developed by Kirkcudbright Development Trust as part of the creation of a dark sky visitor centre.

This aims to build on Galloway Forest Park having enjoyed Dark Sky status since 2009 in recognition as being one of the best places for stargazing in the world.

The Trust has been engaged in a major capital project to fully renovate and reinvigorate the former, and much-loved, Johnston School building in the town.

The 19th Century former school closed in 2010 and quickly fell into disrepair.

The Trust successfully secured the future of the building, raising over £2.6 million to restore and develop it for community use.

Building works commenced in late 2019 and have now been fully completed.

Launched in conjunction with the Glasgow Science Centre the facility is aimed at young families and children with lots of interactive exhibits.

The opening of the planetarium will take place over summer once Covid-19 restrictions are relazed enough to allow this to happen.

It is hoped to attract between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors a year once life goes back to normal and become a major toruist attraction in the area.

Helen Henderson from the Trust said: “Kirkcudbright will be home to this new state-of-the art visitor attraction which will inform and educate people of all ages as it celebrates the majesty and infinity of space, the wonders of science, the thrill of space exploration, and the magic of the Dark Skies right here in Dumfries and Galloway.

"The Development Trust look forward to welcoming everyone to the new attraction as soon as it is possible to open.”

The trustees gratefully acknowledge the support of: Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Government, South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership, The Wolfson Foundation, The Robertson Trust, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Kirkcudbright Common Good Fund, Galloways Glens Landscape Partnership, Historic Environment Scotland, Castle Maclellan, The Holywood Trust, LEADER.