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Construction begins on Jodrell's new 'Live Science Discovery Centre'

21 Sep 2010

Scientists, builders and architects gathered at Jodrell Bank to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new 'Live Science' Discovery Centre at the site.

Jodrell Bank founder, Sir Bernard Lovell, officially got the project underway at a private ceremony on the building site itself on Monday.

The new centre, set to attract thousands of extra visitors to the Observatory every year, includes a new entrance building – the Planet Pavilion – and a new Space Pavilion for exhibitions and events.

The project also includes a stylish glass-walled café with spectacular views of the iconic Lovell telescope, an education space and landscaping of the Arboretum to create a new Galaxy Maze.

Its main aim is to inspire young scientists and connect them to cutting-edge research as it happens.

The new centre is set to launch in summer 2011.

Sir Bernard said, "I am delighted that this project is going ahead. Jodrell Bank has always been an icon of UK science and has the power to inspire the scientists of the future.

"In these challenging times, investment in science is key to securing the future of our nation. This project will make a great contribution to that future."

The project has been made possible by an investment of £1.9 million by the NWDA and £1 million by ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) in the North West. An additional £600,000 of funding will come from The University of Manchester.

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive of the NWDA, said: "Sir Bernard Lovell gave the North West a wonderful legacy in Jodrell Bank and I am delighted he has been able to play a part in the next stage in its future. The new centre will attract thousands of national and international visitors and boost the already significant contribution which Jodrell Bank makes to the regional economy." 

Dr Teresa Anderson, the University’s Project Director, said: "We’re very pleased to begin construction of our new buildings today and very grateful to Sir Bernard for all his support over the last few years.

"We’re already looking forward to our opening season next year, when we hope to welcome many new visitors to our new Discovery Centre."

While demolition and building is underway, the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre will operate an interim arrival point for visitors in a building at the edge of its gardens. Access to parts of the site will also be restricted due to safety considerations.

Watch the centre’s website for updates on progress and details of any briefing events at: