THE Dark Sky Observatory project for Craigengillan Estate, near the Galloway/Ayrhsire border, has been awarded just under £90,000 from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
The Galloway Forest Park was designated as a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association in November 2009 and is the first such designation in the United Kingdom and only the second in Europe. The observatory will be sited at Loch Doon within the boundary of the Galloway Forest Park.
Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for the South of Scotland, said: “When the Galloway Forest Park designated as the first dark sky park in the UK it was an amazing achievement. It is a huge tourist draw and a testament to the value of such a natural asset on our doorstep.
“So I’m delighted that the project has attracted such crucial funding which will fund a mobile planetarium together with all the necessary classroom equipment.
“This will be a great teaching tool and what better way to inspire young people than to get them involved in such a fantastic learning experience.”