Friends, Countryman and fellow Clarkians, here ye!
Here is a copy of a press announcement seen in this weeks local newspaper, not sure if many of you have heard about this venture, hope it makes interesting reading. Will keep you informed as more news breaks.
Cheers for now
Plans unveiled for £12m space centre
Sci-Fi writer Sir Arthur C Clarke launched his most ambitious British
Millennium project on Monday when plans were unveiled for a £12 million
space and communications centre in his native Minehead.
But how the high profile building, dome and tower will win favour with
planners before his 2001 deadline remained something of a space Oddity for
West Somerset District Council, owners of the site for the proposed space
centre. The plan was simultaneously launched on Monday by Sir Arthur C.
Clarke from his Sri Lanka home and at a Minehead hotel by his brother, Fred,
who manages Sir Arthur's business in the UK.
Speaking over a satellite telephone link, Sir Arthur said "The proposed centre
at Minehead will be dedicated to the interpretation and exploration of space
and communications. We believe it will form a major visitor attraction and
suitable landmark for the new Millennium. If my ideas and work can be
continued in Minehead in the coming Millennium, I am certain it will make more friends for my hometown and have far more impact than I could ever achieve in one short lifetime."
NASA has promised material for the centre including satellites and rockets as
a centerpiece while the Science Museum in London has promised to loan other pieces. Working with them on the project are local councillor Malcolm Higgins and Arthur Clarke Foundation representative Gordon Adgey. Mr Higgins said "It will be a wonderful opportunity for major companies in the space and communications sectors to associate a themselves with Sir Arthur's pioneering work.
"We have a distinct advantage over other projects because we have Arthur's
name which is held in extremely high regard in the communications and space sector." Mr Higgins added If this doesn't happen by 2001 we will have will missed a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Millennium and Minehead's most famous son."
Fred Clarke, an established writer in the his own field said the Foundation
was set up in recent years to prepare a home in the UK for Sir Arthur's
manuscripts, trophies and artefacts. It is now a registered charity. Among
those who have sent their best wishes for the Minehead Clarke Centre are
American astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. British inventor Sir
Clive Sinclair commented "The Minehead Centre will continue the work of Sir
Arthur C Clarke by encouraging developing and promoting British talent. I
wish it every success."
Mr Clarke said the centre would not only accommodate his brother's papers but also make them available for research. And it would provide facilities for
promoting communications and space programmes and introductions to the many organizations associated with his work.
Mr Clarke added that, on behalf of the Sir Arthur Clarke Foundation, he had
invited contributions from people and organizations worldwide who had
benefited from his ideas or had in enjoyed his writing. Mr Clarke said the
project had been "favourably received" by some of the largest pivotal
corporations in and space and communications technologies.
The centre organizers expect private companies to underpin the development,
but grant applications would be made to the Heritage Lottery and the EU.
West Somerset District Council's spokesman Julie Hill said: "We are unable to comment on the proposed centre until we see any details of the proposals."