Budget funding helps Jodrell Bank ‘reach for the stars’

Mr Rutley has been campaigning in support of the First Light project


Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is set to receive £4 million from the government as part of the chancellor Philip Hammond’s most recent Budget.

The announcement follows the successful campaigning of local MP David Rutley and the team at Jodrell Bank.

The funding will support the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in delivering its £20.5 million ‘First Light’ heritage gallery project, promoting the historically-significant scientific work undertaken by the world-leading Cheshire site.

This will help visitors to learn more about Jodrell Bank’s pivotal role in the post-WWII development of the new science of radio astronomy, and helping to engage younger people with the sciences.

Mr Rutley has been campaigning in support of the First Light project for many months alongside Professor Teresa Anderson, director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, and her team.

Earlier this year David met with the chancellor to seek Treasury assistance for this iconic project, and he has made regular representations in support of the ‘First Light’ initiative since then.

The funding, which is subject to the approval of a sustainable business case, is the culmination of an already exciting year for Jodrell Bank.

Earlier this year, six of the structures on its site were awarded Listed Building status, and, more recently, the site was selected as the UK’s next candidate for nomination to UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. (read more, here)

Speaking about the announcement, David said: “I am delighted that the chancellor has responded so positively to the request for funding for Jodrell Bank’s ‘First Light’ heritage gallery.

“This is a significant boost to the project and will make a huge difference in enabling this world-leading and iconic site to promote its history and inspire the next generation of scientists.

“I am very grateful to Professor Anderson and her colleagues for their outstanding hard work to get the project to this stage, and look forward to seeing this great initiative come to fruition.”

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