SKA Night

Construction begins on radio telescope HQ

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.

Click any image below to launch gallery

Your Comments

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Cheshire – Not Manchester

By DARREN

What’s your point Darren? Jodrell Bank is part of Manchester Uni

By Rooney

As i live in Cheshire and do not want to be a part on that city

By DARREN

Darren should we suggest that the university invests its millions elsewhere then?

By Jim McMillan

A point well made Darren

By JIM

I don’t want to be part of Baghdad. What’s your point?

By Rooney

Cheshire = stalybridge and widnes.

Old county boundaries are anachronistic and to a large extent irrelevant.

By Anon

Jodrell Bank has always been part of UoM. I’m really not sure what Darren’s point is here.

By Rooney

Interestingly Bernard Lovell’s wiki page says that the uni moved cosmic ray research to Jodrell Bank due to interference from electric trams on Oxford Rd to a site the uni used at that time for botany.

Jodrell Bank benefitted from another Manchester strength, its media industry, borrowing an early fax machine from The Daily Express on Great Ancoats Street to capture the first images of the lunar surface, the signal having been intercepted by the telescope from the Russian’s Lunar 9 craft, allowing the paper’s Manchester office to publish the images in a global scoop.

By Anon

Jodrell Bank is in Cheshire and always will be but from a northwicher north/mid Cheshire point of view it’s always been part of the university of Manchester for many years! obviously identity is important! but it all seems a storm in a tea cup to me! it’s in Cheshire and the university of Manchester run the tacitly and they have been doing a great job for many years! what’s the problem! there ain’t one!

By Northwich

Like i said i never want to be a part of Mnac

By Darren

In what way does UoM investing in a site that has always been part of UoM make Cheshire part of Manchester?

You know the University of Manchester isn’t a soverign imperialist state don’t you?

By Rooney

Manchester Airport was in Cheshire if you look at old maps. For Godsake can we stop this provincial nonesense. Jodrell Bank is a great asset to the North West,can we just leave it at that. Cheshire is not like North Yorkshire, which is old money and independently wealthy. It is wealthy because rich people from Liverpool and Manchester took their wealth there. If it wasn’t close to those cities, it would be like Norfolk.

By Elephant

I’ll put money on Darren is a LFC supporter.

By phildered

Or even worse a Utd fan, they are not in Manchester too!

By Rosie York

VERY good Rosie, not bad for a bitter!

By phildered

Nah!, just a geography fan.

By Rosie York

Jeepers, I was hoping for some intelligent comment to read. All I see is a pedant arguing over where Jodrell Bank is! Elephant’s comment at least was educational =]

By Jon

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