‘Buy a star’ bid to raise space centre cash

ASK will be an educational hub as well as a visitor attraction
ASK will be an educational hub as well as a visitor attraction

People in Fife and Kinross-shire have until the end of this month to take up an offer that’s out of this world.

Aero Space Kinross, which is behind plans to build a space and aviation visitor centre, has launched a crowdfunding campaign giving people the chance to buy a star for as little as £10.

It’s hoped the initiative –called ‘OUR BIG ASK’ – will raise £12,000 by June 30 in order to boost the £38,000 already pledged through a community share offer launched in April by TV presenter Carol Vorderman.

The brainchild of former glider pilot Alisdair Stewart, the project would see a £10 million aviation, astronomy and space flight family visitor centre built to the west of Kinross.

Plans include a fully immersive 3D planetarium, flight simulator, airsports showcase, lecture theatre, retail space and restaurant – all of which it’s anticipated would attract some 60,000 visitors a year.

A pledge of £10 will buy a star to be displayed on a Wall of Stars, plus one free admission, while £100 buys a named star and 12 free visits.

Said Mr Stewart: “We really want to widen our reach and community engagement through OUR BIG ASK with something fun and engaging. In essence, the Star Offer will give people a way to pledge smaller amounts of money and become involved in Aero Space Kinross at the very start without necessarily becoming a full investor.

“It will also give an additional reason for families and friends to visit our space flight and aviation centre in due course, as they will be able to point to their ‘stars’ in the galaxy on the wall in the entrance foyer each time they come.

“It can also be a novel way of marking a big birthday, a means of remembering someone special, a timely gift for Father’s Day or just a bit of fun.”

OUR BIG ASK will also enable a ‘build-a-plane’ project in which local Kinross school children will have a chance to help build a real plane from a kit.

Sandra Macaskill, programme officer for Community Shares Scotland said: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting and innovative space flight and aviation project in Kinross.

“ It is a project with far-reaching benefits – inspiring many young people about space and flight technologies, creating new jobs, putting Kinross on the map and bringing increased tourism traffic in due course to the wider area.”

For more information, visit www.aerospacekinross.com