First look at Jodrell Bank’s new heritage attraction set to open in days

The images gave a first look at the new heritage attraction which will open at Jodrell Bank later this week. The highly anticipated First Light Pavillion, part of the £21.5million First Light project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will give the public the chance to experience the story behind the history of Jodrell Bank.

The new visitor center sits in a grass-covered dome and is meant to ‘firmly establish the site of Jodrell Bank’, part of the University of Manchester, as a major cultural destination in the UK . The center is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a globally significant scientific research center.

The museum and gallery open to the public later this week, June 4, with the official opening event on June 21. Images have now for the first time shown the site in all its glory ahead of its grand opening.

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Inside, visitors can learn the story behind the history of Jodrell Bank, established in 1945 by physicist and astronomer Bernard Lovell, as well as use handy control panels and watch planetarium shows in an auditorium purpose-built, which includes a large curved screen and nine projectors.



The new visitor center sits in a grass-covered dome

The state-of-the-art Space Dome will offer every visitor an immersive audio-visual experience with a specially commissioned film on the history of Jodrell Bank, narrated by Professor Brian Cox.

And the entrance to the center is also placed on the meridian line, echoing ancient sites like Stonehenge and Newgrange in Ireland, with a window carved into the cement that will see the building act as a huge sundial. There will also be a host of permanent exhibits, showcasing archival material including diaries, letters, audio and video exhibits, and photographs.



There will also be a host of permanent exhibitions

Eilish McGuinness, CEO of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Jodrell Bank is truly a unique heritage site of national and international significance. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has granted £12.5 million so that the site’s powerful human stories of curiosity, exploration and discovery can be shared with the public. The stunning new building will have a fantastic impact, delighting and inspiring every visitor.

As Macclesfield MP David Rutley added: “The opening of the First Light Pavilion will be a remarkable moment not just for Cheshire and the North West, but for the whole of the UK. Visitors from all over the country will be able to come here and celebrate the pioneering entrepreneurial spirit that this much-loved site now represents.



Inside, visitors can discover the story behind the history of Jodrell Bank

Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the site in a brand new permanent exhibition, imagined by designer Casson Mann. The Jodrell Bank Story is meant to bring the site’s history, which dates back to 1945, to life and will explore the Universe using radio waves instead of visible light.

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates and Facilities at the University of Manchester, added: “This is a truly visionary build and a host of brilliant people have come together to bring it to life. The ambitious design has been achieved Expertly crafted by the Kier build team and we couldn’t be prouder. We can’t wait to see it open to the public.

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