Media release: New funding support from The Gannochy Trust helps ASSET reach for the stars with an educational programme of STEM outreach

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A £10,000 grant support from The Gannochy Trust has enabled ASSET to kickstart a raft of STEM education workshops, talks and volunteering opportunities over the next three years, focusing on schools, youth organisations and communities and on young people generally who live in the Perth and Kinross area.

The aim of this STEM outreach activity is to build interest in aviation and space careers for young people in the Perth & Kinross area, as well as establish relationships to meet the longer-term goal of creating a permanent venue for a flight-themed science and space centre in the Kinross area (‘Aero Space Kinross’).

“This is extremely welcome funding from The Gannochy Trust,” noted Alisdair Stewart, chair of ASSET. “We were over the moon when we received the news, as the hiatus caused by ‘lockdown’ has been very challenging for us.

“This puts us in a strong position to go ahead and activate our STEM outreach programme for young people across Perth & Kinross. Our intention is to run STEM workshops and events for schools and nurseries, engaging with young people aged 18 and under in the area. These will be delivered remotely until such time as face-to-face sessions can be re-established.

“It will give young people a highly-interactive, valuable first-hand experience of science in action to forge the seeds of ambition in their future career choices. We will reach out to those with additional support needs such as autism and to marginalised groups including the travelling community. We will use the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation to prioritise schools in the areas of greatest deprivation.”

Commenting on the grant award, CEO of The Gannochy Trust, Joanna McCreadie, said: “We are delighted to be supporting ASSET’s STEM outreach activity which will help ignite young people’s imagination and interest in the aerospace industry, through engaging training and education programmes.”

Roadshows with the Cosmos Planetarium

Led by expert astronomers, Steven Gray and James Green, the Cosmos Planetarium team will provide an inspiring opportunity to engage in astronomy and space exploration, first-hand. Due to government restrictions imposed to protect public health against Covid-19, sessions will initially be delivered remotely and through digital social media and, thereafter, when permissible, through physical attendance at schools, youth organisations, science festivals, museums and shopping centres. Participants will learn about astronomy, the Cosmos and the International Space Programme. They will also run specially-tailored sessions for young carers and those with additional support needs (e.g. autism-friendly sessions).

Duke of Edinburgh Award – volunteering opportunities

There will also be volunteering opportunities for young people from the Perth and Kinross area annually through the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) programme.

The young people involved will be coached and mentored by a member of the ASSET management team (depending on the focus of the volunteering tasks undertaken). Training needs will be identified and supported. We will work with the young people in local D of E groups to tailor these opportunities to ensure that they are meeting their personal goals and objectives.

Sandy Gunn Aerospace careers programme

The Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Programme (“ACP”) is named after the last RAF pilot of Photo Reconnaissance Spitfire AA810 who was shot down in 1942 whilst searching over Norway for the battleship Tirpitz.

Sandy Gunn was from Auchterarder. He was sent to the Nazi POW camp Stalag Luft III where he was one of the 75 prisoners who escaped through a tunnel – as featured in the film, ‘The Great Escape’.

We have been appointed to represent the Sandy Gunn Aerospace Careers Programme in Scotland and Northern Ireland. This will involve bringing 200 to 300, 15-to-18-year-olds to Kinross for specially-run presentations the purpose of which will be to excite young people’s interest in engineering; inform them of career opportunities; explain the routes to these careers and build a support network; extend the reach of the programme to future generations as each Aerospace Careers Programme member progresses their career.

Schools Build-a-Plane projects

In addition, ASK also offers further opportunities around the schools ‘build a plane’ project.  The first highly-successful project was run at Kinross High School in 2018, and now the team will be embarking on a second project this time with Strathallan School.

While the funding for these projects is from other sources, the benefits being derived by pupils will be shared with less advantaged young people from all over the county. These benefits will include exposure to simple aircraft design, principles of flight, flying skills, navigation, meteorology, and radiotelephony. This will be achieved through a programme of informal sessions by the University of Highlands and Islands at Air Service Training at Scone Airport and by taking young people to the airfield and giving them free air experience flights in the aircraft.


Notes for editors:

ASSET was awarded £1.6 million by the UK government through the Tay Cities Deal. This will support a £3 million spend planned for the Aero Space Kinross (‘ASK’) Phase One build and fit-out of a discovery centre and a fixed dome planetarium. ASSET is currently pursuing further funding sources to enable them to achieve the first phase capital spend. Required funding for Phase Two (to complete the full discovery centre / exhibition space and space exploration centre) is forecast to be £10 million.

The Gannochy Trust was founded in 1937 by Scottish businessman and philanthropist, Arthur Kinmond Bell, known as ‘A K’. His vision for philanthropic pursuits was ahead of its time and continues to shape The Gannochy Trust’s charitable activities to this day. For more information, check out

ASSET is a charitable Community Benefit Society community-led, controlled, and operated for the benefit of Kinross-shire and the community it serves. Aero Space Kinross is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ASSET.  The plan to create a permanent venue is a tremendous opportunity for the residents of Kinross-shire and beyond that will bring huge economic, educational and tourism benefits to the area, as well as providing locals, Scots, and visitors alike with a unique flight-themed science and space centre.

For further project and funding information, please contact: Alisdair Stewart:

For further press information, images and interviews, please contact Fiona Stewart: Email: Mob: 07940560453

For more information on how to support and be a part of this unique experience, go to: Website:


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Contact: Fiona Stewart