It could be you: National Lottery hands £16m to England's Jodrell Bank

Iconic site bags funding for 'astronomy gallery'

Jodrell Bank is to receive £16.1m in UK lottery and government funding for a gallery dedicated to astronomy.

The "First Light at Jodrell Bank" project will seek to promote and celebrate the site's pioneering role in star-gazing. It will receive £12m in lottery funding, a total of £8m in government funding, and is to be built over the next three years.

The gallery will house an exhibition and engagement space, incorporating the original fabric of the 1957 dish of the telescope, an auditorium to display immersive digital presentations, an education hub, and a café.

Professor Teresa Anderson, director of Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, said: "This funding will transform visitor engagement with the heritage of Jodrell Bank."

“This major investment acknowledges Jodrell Bank’s unique significance and will ensure that the heritage of the site is protected and conserved according to the standards required of a World Heritage Site, ensuring its care and maintenance for future generations.’

Theresa May yesterday made a speech in front of the Lovell Telescope about the government's science policy, and apparently how AI can improve disease detection and prevention.

She said: “It's great to be here at this iconic home of British innovation to personally congratulate the team on this funding award, which will enable Jodrell Bank to continue to inspire scientists in Britain for generations to come."

Jodrell was founded in 1945 and pioneered the science of radio astronomy. Its Lovell and Mark II Telescopes are Grade I-listed buildings, and the site has hosted several concerts and TV recordings, appearing in BBC scifi fave Doctor Who as well as in 2005 film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy .*

The site was nominated for UNESCO World Heritage Site status earlier this year. As such it will be put forward to become the 32nd world heritage site in 2019, the first since the Lake District joined the list last year.

* For more info on Jodrell Bank read our Geek's Guide to the iconic observatory. ®

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