One of the world’s biggest planetariums is planned for South Wales, supporting the advancement in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) across the country.
Planetariwm Wales will be located on the Tower Colliery near Hirwaun, Wales’ last deep coal mine to close.
The 26m wide attraction will be among the largest in the world, seating 350 people, and generating 54 jobs.
The planetarium will have three different zones – a planetarium theatre, an experiential discovery centre and an education and research centre.
Using state-of-the-art technology and the latest high-resolution imagery, the attraction plans to create educating and stimulating experiences for visitors, and act as a leading-edge facility for research and development in digital visualisation.
A £40m investment is needed, according to the team. The aim is start building within three years.
Planetariwm Wales to drive future investment
It’s hoped that Planetariwm Wales will drive future investment, create employment opportunities and economic regeneration in the area.
The plans have received support from industry pioneers, including The Eden Project’s Sir Tim Smith, who said: “This is a great opportunity for Wales, in particular the Valleys.
“The Eden Project showed the positive impact such developments can have on the local economy. It has become a symbol of regeneration in areas, such as South Wales, that have similar demographics and face similar challenges.”
Dark Sky Wales, a mobile educational company taking space and planet study to schools across Wales, is delivering the project.
Allan Trow, manager of Dark Sky Wales, said: “This is going to be a world-leading development. Unlike other planetariums in the UK, Planetariwm Wales will seat up to 350 people and be amongst the largest planetariums in the world.
“Its distinctive size and use of futuristic technology will give visitors a unique opportunity, where they can drift off into space and fully immerse themselves into space.
“It’s a multi-functional experience that will stimulate, educate and entertain all generations and support the local communities and areas in the long-run.”
Zip World in South Wales
In February, Zip World revealed the site of its new adventure park in South Wales – its first attraction outside of North Wales.
Blooloop previously spoke to Zip World co-founder Sean Taylor about the company’s community-minded business model that is breathing new life into one of Britain’s most deprived areas.
Image: Planetariwm Wales