Johnston School Dark Skies Visitor Centre – £59,000 grant from Galloway Glens Project

Galloway Forest Park is one of the darkest places in the UK and has been awarded a Dark Sky Park designation, one of only four in the western world. Part of the development of the Johnston School will be a Dark Sky Visitor Centre open to the public promoting the park and all things astronomical. The Trust will work in partnership with the Dark Skies organisation to create a unique, educational and diverse venue which will encompass the magic of the Dark Skies yet deliver an educational outlet.

Discussions have taken place with The Glasgow Science Centre and they are very keen to work with us to develop the Visitor Centre. The planetarium at the Glasgow Science Centre is a memorable experience and we hope to incorporate some of the outstanding material into the Kirkcudbright Dark Skies experience. It is hoped we will be able to offer practical astronomy courses for schools, the community and visitors alike. The Barhill Woods offers an idealplace to hold outdoor courses and with shelter from the lights of the town, the Dark Skies can be superb.

Work is progressing with designers and architects. Now a large part of the funding has been secured planning permissions can be sought and Listed Building applications made. The Trust has been awarded £59,000 by the Galloway Glens Project towards the development of the Dark Skies Visitor Centre. This will hopefully encourage other funders to support the project.