Work has started on the £16.5m Square Kilometre Array Global Headquarters at The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank site in Macclesfield, Cheshire. [GALLERY]
The Square Kilometre Array project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope. The SKA is not a single telescope, but a collection of telescopes or instruments, called an array, to be spread over long distances.
The bid to make Jodrell Bank the headquarters of the SKA was backed by the UK Government, The University of Manchester and Cheshire East Council, as well as Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
The 45,000 sq ft facility will have 135 staff from more than 13 countries, tasked with managing the construction and operations of the SKA telescopes, located in Southern Africa and Western Australia.
The building includes 18 meeting rooms equipped with video-conferencing to work with teams spread over 20 time zones, as well as a council chamber which can be converted into a 159-seat auditorium for scientific conferences and public talks.
Cheshire East Council deputy leader, Cllr David Brown, said: “Hosting the SKA global headquarters is a big coup for Cheshire East, and will no doubt benefit this area hugely in terms of jobs, kudos and economic growth. It falls squarely within the eshire Science Corridor and Northern Powerhouse concepts, and this is why we are deeply committed to it.”
The headquarters is due to open in June 2018.
Sir Robert MacAlpine is the main contractor on the project. Hassell designed the scheme.
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