Manchester University could soon benefit from a new venue at the Jodrell Bank Observatory

The Discovery Centre at the Jodrell Bank Observatory
The Discovery Centre at the Jodrell Bank Observatory

Planners at Cheshire East Council are looking at designs by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) to build a Discovery Centre at the Jodrell Bank Observatory – part of the university’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

The project, which it is hoped will form phase one of a wider redevelopment of the visitor facilities, has a total floor space of 1,000 square metres.

Included in the proposals by FCBS, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2008 and designed the National Trust’s new headquarters in Swindon, is a Space Pavilion incorporating a multi-purpose exhibition, and a maze in the shape of the Milky Way.

Elsewhere, a Planet Pavilion, complete with a stylish glass-walled café, will provide stunning views of the site’s 76m-high Lovell telescope, which helps astronomers study how planets and stars are formed.

Dr Teresa Anderson, Director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, said: “This is a really important milestone for us and we’re absolutely delighted that our project is moving forward.

“It has taken considerable work to get to this point and we would like to thank the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and a range of other major stakeholders including the local community and our visitors for their feedback and support.”

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