Michael and the Prime Minister at Jodrell Bank Space Observatory

As the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism I was delighted that funding has recently been announced for a new gallery building at Jodrell Bank. The Heritage Lottery Fund and my Department (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) will be providing £16.1 million in funding for the ‘First Light at Jodrell Bank’ gallery building. In light of this news, I joined the Prime Minister on a visit to Jodrell Bank.

Jodrell Bank Observatory is a globally important site that has helped to transform our understanding of the universe and this significant investment from the Government and National Lottery players will create a world class visitor attraction and help inspire future generations in science and astronomy by showcasing the outstanding research being done there. Jodrell Bank, founded in 1945, is the earliest radio astronomy observatory in the world and has helped our understanding of the universe significantly, which is why I have recently nominated, in my role as Heritage Minister, the Observatory for UNESCO World Heritage Status in recognition of its huge importance in the world of science. You can read more about my nomination by clicking on the following link: https://www.michaelellis.co.uk/news/michael-arts-heritage-and-tourism-minister-update.

This new funding will help to preserve and protect the heritage of the site for future generations with the new facilities to house a stunning new exhibition and engagement space, incorporating the original fabric of the 1957 dish of the telescope, an auditorium devoted to displaying immersive digital presentations, an education hub and a new café. All of this will help to educate future generations on science and astronomy, and give them the skills to help the UK remain a world leader in the science sector.

They even let me sit at the control desk at Jodrell Bank as you can see in the photo! The Prime Minister marked the visit with a major policy speech in science in which she affirmed the Government’s commitment to using new technologies to help us overcome modern-day challenges such as an ageing population and climate change.