About Planetariwm Wales

Planetariwm Wales seeks to establish a world-class centre for research, education and leisure, which will engage the public with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) through tourism, while also encouraging students to participate in STEM projects.

The project will create one of the largest planetariums in the world, with cutting-edge technology capable of displaying the latest 3D visuals in 8k resolution for use in both the delivery of knowledge and learning and the delivery of digital leisure and entertainment. The project will also create a leading research facility and contribute to global advancement in the fields of virtual media and astrophysics.

The planetarium theatre will be the showcase visitor attraction and will be accompanied by several other visitor experiences including immersive virtual studio spaces, interactive science exhibition galleries and an astronomical observatory.

Planetariwm Wales will create a pioneering centre for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education, as part of a longer-term ambition to strengthen employment opportunities for future generations and support Welsh economic resilience and adaptability to innovations in the future.

One of the primary purposes of Planetariwm Wales is to produce original media and technologies that exploit the full potential of digital imaging. The facility will aim to produce high definition original visual content for display on site and for sale to other planetariums around the world. The facility will also explore virtual imaging and its application within the medical, industrial and chemical engineering fields.

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Employment

The project intends to create a range of employment opportunities both as a direct employer and to support stakeholder employment. Highly skilled jobs, apprenticeships and scholarships will be integral to the development and management of the planetarium, which will operate under charity and social enterprise governance.

Employment

The project intends to create a range of employment opportunities both as a direct employer and to support stakeholder employment. Highly skilled jobs, apprenticeships and scholarships will be integral to the development and management of the planetarium, which will operate under charity and social enterprise governance.

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Wider benefit

Initial independent research commissioned by Planetariwm Wales has highlighted the target markets for the planetarium, along with the communities and stakeholder networks in which it will operate. The planetarium will not and should not be developed in isolation but will instead form part of a broader interrelated system of related experiences which utilise the dark skies region to deliver enhanced value for both visitors and the local economy.

Once developed, the planetarium will be utilised to promote Wales as a tourist destination and increase visitor numbers to the wider heads of the valley region by making Planetariwm Wales a ‘must-see’ attraction with pan UK market penetration.

To enhance the economic impact of the project, the management of the planetarium intends to utilise all of its functions to help Welsh Government catalyse wider investment by attracting relevant, specialised tech’ businesses to an adjacent technology park.

Location

The proposed location we have selected for this project is the site of the former Tower Colliery, which runs alongside the A465 Heads of the Valleys near Hirwaun. The site, which has been selected in partnership with the Tower Regeneration Scheme, has considerable potential for environmental improvement and commercial development, along with the possibility to incorporate Tower Colliery’s compelling heritage. A further advantage is that this site is being given to Planetariwm Wales by the former miners who own the site at no cost.

The site is within a Dark Sky Wales designated area, which protects against light pollution, making it ideally suited to its new purpose. Wales leads the world in the percentage of its territory enjoying protected status for its night skies, with approximately 18% of Wales protected.

The A465 Heads of the Valleys road is currently undergoing extensive improvements, which once complete, will make access to the site far easier, helping to extend the secondary, tertiary and quaternary markets as the drive time will be reduced significantly.

For those using public transport, access to the site will be available by train from the new Hirwaun Station, which will be situated adjacent to the site.

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