Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Space The Almighty Buck United Kingdom Science

Chance To Snap Up Your Own Observatory 62

Hugh Pickens writes "Like to own your own five-story observatory equipped with a 12" Meade Schmidt Cassegrain catadioptric telescope and a 20-inch Shafer-Maksutov telescope — the second-largest of its kind in the world? Well, there's one for sale at Marina Towers in Swansea, at an observatory that could be Wales' largest telescope. The Swansea Astronomical Society moved out two years ago, blaming increased rent and other costs. So the city council has asked interested parties to submit their proposals and financial offers by the end of March. Brian Spinks, the chair of the society, says the extra rent and running costs meant the society's members would have had to find around £40,000 over the next 10 years. 'The members can no longer be expected to finance such a public presence from their annual subscription. If we had to find £40,000 over the next 10 years it would kill the society.' The observatory was built in 1988 and includes a domed roof, an access tower that houses a spiral staircase, a stained-glass roof by artist David Pearl and panels of carved poetry by Nigel Jenkins. 'We'd like to see a mixed-use development that incorporates features of the existing observatory building,' says Coun Gareth Sullivan, Swansea council's cabinet member for regeneration. 'Bringing the observatory back into use would add even more vitality to the promenade.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Chance To Snap Up Your Own Observatory

Comments Filter:
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday January 08, 2012 @09:52AM (#38628840) Journal

    4000£ "extra" a year may not sound like much, but for many small organizations it's a huge change in their budget. Sure, top earners may lose that kind of change in their sofa, but if your group is mostly average working people that money's going to be hard to come by. The economy of the past 3-4 years has not exactly been great for small organizations which rely on fundraisers and donations.

    Heck, my town (of 40,000) in the US doesn't have a functioning dramatic theater that's available for community productions. In fact, there isn't one in the surrounding three towns either (total pop of 100,000+). To get a basic one up and running in one f our old warehouses, we figured it could be done - with lots of volunteer labor - for as little as $600,000. Of the 3-4 small dramatic companies in the towns mentioned, that's somewhere around 6x our combined annual operating budgets, and about 80x our annual surplus when we all have successful productions. Unless you've got a very wide appeal, or backing of a successful regional or national corporation that wants some exposure, niche endeavors are tough to keep funded.

  • Swansea Council (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 08, 2012 @03:12PM (#38631062)

    I live in swansea and all i can say is this is typical of swansea council, They are greedy, corrupt and stupid.

    Driving out useful tennants to leave facility like that empty can be added to the list of debacles which include asbestos in the public leisure centre, allowing hudreds of studio apartments to be built in the city centre that no one wants to live in and deciding the best transport policy was not to buy buses that could drive on the existing roads in the city centre but to buy extra long buses and re-lay miles of roads at great expense and inconvenience to everyone.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson