Jodrell Bank’s First Light Pavilion officially opened by UK ambassador to UNESCO

David Renwick, Director, England, North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund also spoke at the event, thanking National Lottery players for raising funds for the project. “We’re delighted to have supported the opening of the First Light Pavilion, something we couldn’t have done without National Lottery players. We’re sure that this state-of-the-art visitor attraction will delight and inspire all of its visitors, including the next generation of scientists and engineers to follow in the footsteps of Sir Bernard Lovell.”

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chanceller of The University of Manchester who also spoke at the event, has commented “This bold and ambitious project has been a great success. It is a huge testament to Professor Teresa Anderson and her staff and many others within the University for their amazing work.”

After Her Excellency Laura Davies had unveiled a plaque marking the special occasion, guests were then invited to witness the first alignment of the Pavilion’s meridian line. A brass-lined glass cutaway in the building’s façade reveals the light of the sun as it shines through and across the floor of the entrance. At 13:11, local astronomical noon on the summer solstice, the sunlight aligned to a central marker just as planned, and involuntary cheers and applause rang out.

Teresa Anderson, Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement has spearheaded the project throughout and said of the occasion “It was wonderful to celebrate our journey towards the First Light Pavilion with so many partners and supporters on the Summer Solstice. It’s a project that has involved an incredible team of creative, skilled and committed people, all of whom have put their hearts into it. The result something really special and unique – there is nothing like it anywhere in the world – and it will stand at Jodrell Bank for generations to come, offering people of all ages a chance to be inspired by our place in the Universe.”

First Light at Jodrell Bank is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The UK Government (DCMS), The University of Manchester, and a number of kind donors including The Wolfson, Garfield Weston, Denise Coates, and Stavros Niarchos foundations.

Jodrell Bank is open to visitors Tuesdays – Sundays, 10am – 5pm with last admission at 3:30pm. Tickets include access to the new Pavilion and are priced at £12 for adults and £8 for children. Find out more at www.jodrellbank.net

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