Historic telescope site in running for £12m
JODRELL Bank has cleared the first hurdle in its bid to win a £12m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
The cash is for a project called ‘First Light’ which will create a new space for visitors to learn about the journey to discover more about the universe.
Bosses also plan to conserve and restore the research facility owned by the University of Manchester.
The scheme has won HLF’s official support for a bid and development funding of £784,800 which will help them apply for a full grant at a later date.
This means the HLF believe the project has potential to deliver highquality benefits and value for Lottery money.
The project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award.
Councillor Michael Jones, leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is great news for a worldfamous icon of Cheshire East. We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is backing this project, which will bring many more visitors to the Borough and also inspire young people to enjoy studying science and perhaps one day become the astronomers and engineers who will keep the UK at the forefront of global research.
“Coupled with the successful bid to remain as the headquarters of the Square Kilometre Array – the project to build the world’s largest radio telescope – this underlines the huge value of Jodrell Bank to Cheshire East.”
Last year the Macclesfield observatory received a £6 million windfall to start working on the most complicated computer which will be able to crunch huge amounts of data.
Jodrell Bank is the only site in the world which still shows the whole history of the development of radio astronomy.
Among its discoveries are feats of post-war engineering and the creation of the Grade I-listed Lovell telescope.
Prof Brian Cox welcomed the news.
He said: “I am really pleased to hear that the Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting the heritage of Jodrell Bank.
“The rich scientific history of the UK is a key part of our culture and Jodrell Bank is the stand-out icon of UK science and engineering. When I was young, visiting Jodrell Bank was one of the things that inspired me to become a scientist. This new project will inspire many more young people to carry on our great tradition of science and engineering.”
‘Jodrell Bank is the stand-out icon of UK science’
●● The Grade I-listed Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank which is bidding for £12.1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund
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