Hastings couple, Simon and Melanie Davies, have combined their skills and experiences to start a mobile planetarium business with the help of a Start Up Loan (SUL) from the Let’s Do Business Group (LDBG).
Creative Space Science CIC is a social enterprise offering astronomy outreach and public engagement. Their objective is to educate and inspire their audiences by sharing their passion of the cosmos in an easy to understand way.
Melanie and Simon have borrowed £5000 to purchase equipment from the USA to get their new business off the ground. They have also secured East Sussex County Council ESI4 grant funding of £5,400 through Locate East Sussex, plus additional grant funding from the Hastings Round Table and Magdalen & Lasher Charity.
They recently visited local primary and secondary schools on lunar-themed ‘Apollo Mission Days’. Melanie combined
planetarium films with hands-on workshops. These included NASA Moon rocks and meteors from the ‘Borrow the Moon’ initiative from the Science & Technology Facilities Council. Students were also encouraged to create their own ‘Moon-art’ and ‘lunar literacy’ producing a great deal of interesting artwork. Everyday items such as flour, drinking chocolate powder and cooking oil were utilised to create the effect of a meteor landing on the moon’s surface as well as taking part in a citizen science project.
Simon said “At one point there were 37 year nine students in the planetarium watching the immersive space films. Over 500 pupils passed through and experienced the planetarium over three days. We are confident about its future success and are looking to create further space events and school activities throughout the year”.
Mentor, Steve Fleming, said “securing grant funding and loans is a great achievement. I believe this is down to their professional approach and self-belief. Melanie is also an elected Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society”.
The SUL scheme helps budding entrepreneurs to get their businesses up and running with an affordable loan and mentor support. LDBG deliver the Government-initiative across the South of England.
Find out more about applying for a SUL at www.letsstartup.co.uk, call 0844 943 2988 or email email@example.com. Follow @ldbstartup.
Find out more about East Sussex County Council Grants from Locate East Sussex at www.locateeastsussex.org.uk, call 0844 4159255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @LocateESussex.
Find out more about the work of Creative Space at www.creative-space.org.uk. Contact Simon and Melanie at email@example.com. Follow @MelanieRDavies.