Construction begins on Nottinghamshire astronomical observatory

Cllr Dale Grounds, Cllr Matt Relf, Jason Zadrozny and Theresa Hodgkinson

Construction has commenced for the development of a new Planetarium and Science Discovery Centre at Sherwood Observatory in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottingham.

This project is one of 16 initiatives funded by the £62.6m Towns Deal secured by the council from the government in 2021.

The goal is to create a facility at the observatory on Coxmoor Road, which will include a Planetarium.

Additionally, a Victorian subterranean reservoir on the site will be transformed into an education and exhibition centre while preserving its historical features including the intricate brick arches.

The new Planetarium, which will be situated above the reservoir, will provide an immersive space experience for visitors.

The Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society currently conducts educational outreach programs for local schools, adult and children’s groups, public events and night schools.

The new facility will enable them to expand these educational programs in Ashfield and beyond, covering a wider range of STEM subjects.

Chris Flint, managing director at G F Tomlinson, said: “This incredible facility will provide an immersive and unique visitor experience for all ages in the heart of the Midlands, and G F Tomlinson is proud to be delivering it alongside Mansfield and Sutton Astronomical Society and other key stakeholders including Ashfield District Council.

The Planetarium and Science Discovery Centre will play a key part in inspiring young people on both the wonder and science of space and along with the increase in footfall of visitors to the new facility, will be a place of learning and enjoyment for many years to come.”

Construction of the Planetarium and Science Discovery Centre at Sherwood Observatory began in late August, with a planned completion date in late 2024.