Jodrell Bank has been awarded £4m in the Autumn Statement to go towards a new project to promote the historical importance of the scientific work undertaken at the Cheshire site.

Subject to the approval of a business plan, the £4m completes the fundraising for the £20.5m ‘First Light’ project which combines a celebration of scientific heritage with an enhanced educational programme. The development will include construction of a new gallery, incorporating a spectacular exhibition and immersive auditorium.

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre currently attracts around 185,000 visitors each year, including 26,000 school pupils on educational visits. The new project is expected to increase the overall visitor numbers to 250,000, and reach an additional 6,000 school pupils each year.

The new facility will help people learn more about the history of the Observatory at Jodrell Bank, including its pivotal role in the development of radio astronomy, its work in space tracking and its contribution to defence during the cold war.

Professor Teresa Anderson, Director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre said: “This is fantastic news and provides the final piece in the jigsaw to enable us to move ahead with this very exciting project. We are very grateful to all our funders for their support and are looking forward to creating something very special to celebrate the history of this unique place.


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