Delivering The Project
The initial planning and feasibility studies have been completed by an internationally recognised multi-disciplinary team, which has explored the economic and environmental impact, tourism, planning and commercial viability of the project.
Planetariwm Wales is currently in the process of finalising the plans, studies, consultations and funding required to deliver a project of this scale and ambition. Although not yet finalised, there are a number of elements of the vision, which can be explore at this stage:
Visitors will approach the main entrance via a gently sloping forecourt, which will open up into a foyer and exhibition area. The building will have four functional zones:
- The planetarium theatre, which will serve as the main visitors’ attraction, will have an internal diameter of twenty-six metres and a seating capacity of 350 people, including eight wheelchair position seats.
- An outdoor entertainment zone that will utilise the capability of the screen on the external structure of the planetarium theatre globe to show licensed entertainment and sporting events
- The experiential discovery centre and virtual studios will focus upon education and exploration, and will be aimed primarily at visitors and schools.
- The technical and research areas will provide a space for the development of exhibition and production media and work areas for higher education and research.
The striking design of the planetarium will be partially visible from the road, helping to establish its place within the landscape and to serve as a beacon, strengthening the identity of the wider region.
The planetarium’s main screen will have a 10-projector system which displays 1,145 square metres of imagery, with an 8K resolution made up of 88 million pixels.
The lighting system has the power to generate more than 281 trillion different colours, whilst the eye is only capable of capturing 10 million, which will enable the system to deliver truly engaging displays of astronomical features.
The project includes a virtual studio, which is space that is able to display audio visual content across every internal surface to create a truly immersive experience. The virtual studios can also be used for more complex activities, such as virtual reality activities or the addition of physical elements. The discovery centre will encourage interactive exploration where visitors can be entertained by engaging exhibits whilst waiting to go into the auditorium.
The project aims to appeal to multiple audiences and to enhance its appeal by linking content and themes to real experiences of the dark skies environment surrounding the site. The intention is to also provide interactive elements and hands-on experiences which increase visitor engagement and reinforce a connection with Welsh themes and stories.
The total projected investment required to turn the vision into a reality is in the region of £40 million pounds. It is intended that this required investment will be secured from multiple sources, which includes private investment from individuals and companies.
However, we must look at whatever is invested in Planetariwm Wales in a wider context than simply what is the return of people coming to it? It has to be analysed and evaluated in terms of what is it doing to lift the pall of low expectation in the heads of the valley and its contribution to creating new economic thinking and social thinking within a forty mile radius. If you look at its potential return on investment through this paradigm, we are confident you will find that the return will be a very, very significant figure.
We absolutely believe that It just takes the one statement of faith in a place for other little statements to start and for a positive culture to develop. Then before you know it, people are coming to learn and an education infrastructure starts to develop. And then, the people making the t-shirts, the postcards, the books, the lectures, the digital presence, the global advertising, come to Wales. Now you suddenly start to say, ‘wow’, that was a complete bargain.
Whatever is spent on (Planetariwm Wales) has to be analysed, not in terms of what is the return of people coming to it? It is also, what is it doing to lift the pull of low expectation and creating new economic thinking and social thinking within probably thirty miles of it? Now you will find that that will be a very, very significant figure, a very significant figure. It just takes the one statement of faith in a place for other little statements to start and a culture to develop, and then before you know it, people are coming to learn and an education infrastructure starts to develop. And then, the people making the t-shirts, the postcards, the books, the lectures, the digital presence, the global advertising, come to Wales. Now you suddenly start to say, ‘wow’, that was a complete bargain.
Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project supports Planetariwm Wales
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