Space museum plans at Kinross
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Space museum plans at Kinross

Jun 09, 2024

Aero Space Kinross was given the green light to create an out-of-this-world experience for stargazers

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The stars are aligning for plans to transform an ex-Nato spy base in Kinross into a new space and flight museum after it received £1.6 million of UK Government funding.

The cash boost came as Aero Space Kinross was given the green light to launch the out-of-this-world plans for the unique golf ball-shaped radar dome of Balado Satellite Ground Station.

The site has an inactive Nato Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) early warning radar and was put up for sale in 2020 for £950,000.

Aero Space Kinross issued a screening application and business case for the project to the council last autumn, which was approved.

Along with the green light, funding of £1.6m was officially approved by the Tay Cities Region Deal Joint Committee.

The money will be used to purchase the near £1m facility and progress the project, developing a “space technology tourism hub“.

A public fundraising drive was also held in January, allowing people the chance to invest in a bond offer, which raised £250,000.

The overall project budget is around £3m with a planned opening date set for 2025.

Alisdair Stewart, chairman of Aero Space Scientific Educational Trust, has been working on the museum plans since November 2013.

Commenting on the TCRD funding success, he said: “We are really delighted to hear we have a formal acceptance of our Tay Cities Region Deal business case.

“Coming shortly after our successful ASK bond offer campaign, where we raised £250,000 – we are now well on our way to making this project a reality and are fully focused on securing the further funds needed to progress the project.”

The buildings at the Balado site have been lying empty for over 15 years.

But the new state-of-the-art centre would include rocket propulsion, space navigation, space race history and satellite navigation exhibits, a planetarium and a gift shop.

There would also be a solar system/cosmos exhibit with a large interactive globe, and an auditorium. It will also have flight simulation, ‘outstanding’ exhibits showcasing aviation and highlighting aerospace exploration.

Exhibits to find out more information on NASA, Space X, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Orbex are also planned with a small children’s play area outside.

The Gatehouse building, used as dog kennels, would be changed into an education facility with a classroom and outdoor areas.

UK Government minister for Scotland, Malcolm Offord, explained: “Aero Space Kinross is achieving the first steps in its mission to deliver an unique and exciting new visitor attraction and science centre.

“This will educate young people and encourage them explore new horizons, while creating jobs and bringing investment to the region.

“The UK Government is supporting the project with £1.6 million as part of £2.4 billion investment in levelling up across Scotland.”