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Observatory project raised at Holyrood

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By Fiona Reid
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Observatory project raised at Holyrood

HOPES are high that a new Dark Sky Observatory could rise from the ashes in Dumfries and Galloway.

The original at Dalmellington was destroyed in an early morning suspected arson attack nearly three years ago.

Now Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson is backing a new one and raised the issue at Holyrood when he asked Culture Minister Kaukab Stewart to support this worthy project.

She agreed to engage with Forestry and Land Scotland, the current owners of the preferred site, along with other government agencies, to help in its restoration.

Earlier Mr Carson told MSPs the trustees of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory have been working to find a way forward after the disastrous fire and have identified the former Clatteringshaws Visitor Centre as a potential site for development.

Mr Carson continued: “The trustees are currently sourcing additional funding from a variety of organisations, including South of Scotland Enterprise and others, to help progress their plans.

“Given the enormous arts, cultural and educational benefits it would offer, it would also bring a significant boost to the local economy through responsible tourism”.

Afterwards, the local constituency MSP welcomed the minister’s assurance and said: “I sincerely hope this will bring positive results in delivering a project which I believe would be a major attraction that would give the local economy a welcome year-round boost.

“The benefits involved would be enormous, not least in educational terms, both locally and nationally, which is crucial.”

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By Fiona Reid | DNG24