The First Light Project at Jodrell Bank

07.07.2019 – BY UNESCO

Home  →  What’s On  →  News  →   The First Light Project at Jodrell Bank

The First Light Project is unlocking Jodrell Bank’s full potential as a national heritage destination.



Girls Night Out is one of Jodrell Bank’s many events, returning this October with a special focus on the 50th anniversary of the first explorers on the Moon.

Supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the First Light Project will conserve and restore the heritage of Jodrell Bank. 

The project will create a spectacular new interpretation space in which visitors can engage with and learn about the site’s fantastic stories, amazing feats of post-war engineering, and the creation of the Grade-1 listed Lovell Telescope.

This ambitious new project will, for the first time, allow us to engage visitors with the unique turning point that occurred with the emergence of radio astronomy and the dawn of the Space Age, and the role of Jodrell Bank and the UK scientists in that scientific and cultural revolution.

Thanks to the money raised by National Lottery Players, this exciting next chapter for Jodrell Bank will transform the Discovery Centre into a first-class attraction and will acknowledge Jodrell Bank’s world-leading place in the history of astronomy. The project will reveal Jodrell Bank in a new light, sharing the stories of its scientists and engineers and the pioneering science that has taken place here for over 70 years, as well as preserving and protecting the physical elements of Jodrell Bank’s heritage for future generations.

The project will provide a place of inspiration for young people and their families, showcasing not only the emergence of the new science of radio astronomy but also the stories of resilience, determination, cooperation and the entrepreneurial spirit that brought it into being.

The project, which will be delivered over the next 3 years, will create 19 new roles, increase visitor numbers and establish a new volunteer programme. 


The Lovell Telescope was built in 1957. Photo courtesy of Jodrell Bank.


The centrepiece of the project will be the First Light Pavilion, designed by acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio. These stunning new facilities will house an exhibition gallery, education areas, a projection space and a new cafe situated within the gardens at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.

  • Initiate a heritage-themed engagement programme presenting Jodrell Bank’s unique scientific and cultural heritage to wider audiences.
  • Develop a gallery based schools programme, delivering workshops and outreach sessions, special events and activities.
  • Establish an online portal of archive material available for public view.
  • Conserve and restore heritage that is embodied on the South Side side of the site and which is as the heart of the case for World Heritage Site inscription.

To learn more about the First Light Project at Jodrell Bank, visit their official site here.


Home  →  What’s On  →  News  →   First Light at Jodrell Bank

The First Light Pavilion is the centre-piece of the project.



The new pavilion will be the centre-piece of the new development. Photo courtesy of Jodrell Bank / HASSELL Studio.

The transformative First Light Project will unlock the potential of Jodrell Bank’s unique and inspiring history.


The project will create a new must-see national heritage destination and will offer spectacular new visitor facilities for audiences, school children and communities alike. The centrepiece of the project will be the First Light Pavilion, a stunning new building constructed in the gardens of Jodrell Bank. The Pavilion, designed by the internationally acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio, will include a new gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank, immersive projection space and auditorium, and a new education hub and cafe.

Inside the First Light Pavilion will be a spectacular exhibition, in which visitors can engage with the stories of the amazing scientists and engineers who have worked at Jodrell Bank over the years, and whose stories continue today.

This innovative and interactive new gallery will include displays, objects and artefacts from the site’s rich history and will incorporate the fabric of the original 1957 surface of the Lovell Telescope. Archive footage and large-scale projections will animate the exhibition and bring the past to life.

A beautiful new 130 seat auditorium will also feature, housing an immersive projection space where visitors will be able to watch an animated history of Jodrell Bank. The auditorium will also serve as a unique new venue for events, evening lectures, live link-ups, planetarium shows, workshops, and plenty more.

A new heritage engagement programme will also be initiated presenting our unique scientific and cultural heritage to wider audiences. This will allow us to open our doors to thousands of extra visitors and school children, providing an inspirational space in which to deliver workshops and outreach sessions, giving more people the chance to reach their potential.


Read more about the First Light Project and the many other projects on Jodrell Bank’s website.


Home  →  What’s On  →  News  →   First Light at Jodrell Bank

Read more about Jodrell Bank

Read more about Jodrell Bank, from our long reads to our short stories and portraits.

Home  →  What’s On  →  News  →   First Light at Jodrell Bank