News & Events

Jodrell Groundbreaking

Sir Bernard Lovell is joined at the ground breaking ceremony by Discovery Centre Director Dr Teresa Anderson and other members of staff from the University of Manchester, project managers Capita Symonds, construction contractors John Turner & Sons and architects Feilden Clegg Bradley. Credit: University of Manchester.

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre – Ground Breaking

20 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.

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 Northwest. 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 Northwest 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."

Jodrell Bank is a key part of the University of Manchester’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

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.

Visit the discovery centre’s website for updates on progress and details of any briefing events.

Notes for editors

Photographs taken by Howard Barlow featuring Sir Bernard are available on request from the Press Office. Call 0161 275 8387.

Opening Times for the interim visitor facilities will be 11am-4pm from 27th September 2010.

Illustrations of the new development are available on request.

For further information from NWDA please contact Shelley Tattersall Tourism Press Officer on 01925 400256 or

Other NWDA press releases can be found on their website.

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the Northwest. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment.

ERDF in the Northwest is managed by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

For further information on ERDF please visit

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) works to deliver economic success in England’s Northwest by building the competitiveness of its businesses, people and places. Utilising our technical expertise and strategic influence, we help the region’s 250,000+ businesses to develop and grow, as well as supporting international trade and encouraging inward investment.


For Jodrell Bank media enquiries contact:

Dan Cochlin
Media Relations
The University of Manchester
0161 275 8387