Planning permission granted
The night skies of the North Pennines will have more eyes on them after planning permission was given for a community observatory to be built.
Two sheds at the Old Schoolhouse in Allendale will be transformed into the new venture which has been funded by the North Pennines AONB Partnership as part of its Allen Valleys Landscape Partnership project.
Based at Allenheads Contemporary Arts, the observatory is set to become a valuable tool in the delivery of a broad program of year-round astronomical events, as well as a resource which will allow the local community and visitors to fully enjoy Northumbria’s inky black skies.
The observatory design was the product of a competition run amongst architectural students from the region. The winning design was created by three Newcastle University students and is being managed by architectural firm X-Site.
Andy Lees, from the AONB Partnership, said: “The observatory and the subsequent new North Pennines Astronomical Society, which is in the process of being set up, will be a fantastic addition to this network. We really want to encourage people to come and look at the night skies we have here because they really are an amazing sight.”
The North Pennines is home to some of the darkest skies in England. The AONB Partnership already leads the way with a strong network of Dark Sky Discovery Sites, which collectively run diverse events throughout the winter season at a range of remote sites.
Released: 02 June 2016