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Green light for Jodrell Bank centre

A new multi-million pound visitor centre at Jodrell Bank Observatory has been approved for construction.

The new 1,000 m2 centre, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS), will feature a multi-purpose ‘Space Pavilion’ which will provide room for exhibitions, events and educational visits as well as a new glass-walled cafe that will provide visitors with a panoramic view of the 76m-high Lovell Telescope which is nestled in the lush East Cheshire countryside.

A Milky Way-shaped ‘Galaxy Maze’ will be built in addition to a specially landscaped ‘Space Garden’ as part of the plans, FCBS said.

A £3.1 million cash injection from the Northwest Regional Development Agency will help fund the new visitor centre which forms phase one of a wider redevelopment and construction project at the observatory, part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester.

FCBS said the new centre will aim to provide inspiration for the next generation of young astronomers, physicists and astronauts and will showcase cutting-edge research “as it happens”.