Location Manchester
Architect Hassell Architects


A new £20.5m Discovery Centre to promote the historical importance of the scientific work undertaken at the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site Jodrell Bank site in Cheshire. The new ‘First Light at Jodrell Bank’ project will create a spectacular new gallery building that will promote and celebrate Jodrell Bank’s world-leading place in the history of astronomy, and a pioneering chapter in British scientific and cultural history.

One of two projects Buro Four have been involved in at the Jodrell Bank site; the project is all about connecting the widest range of people with the heritage of science and innovation, and will provide opportunities for people to become more involved in Jodrell Bank through education, group activities, volunteering and engagement. The new gallery incorporates a spectacular exhibition and immersive auditorium, allowing the site to accommodate 250,000 visitors a year, including over 30,000 school children. This is an incredibly complex project given the nature of the project and the many and varied stakeholders as well as the complexities of delivering a project within a live science environment and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

‘First Light’ is supported by an offer of £12.5m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and £4m from the government, with generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Wolfson Foundation, the Denise Coates Foundation, University of Manchester Alumni and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Image © Hassell


Providing full Project Management and NEC PM services Buro Four has worked extensively with all stakeholder’s involved, including; The University of Manchester’s Capital Projects and Estates team, as well as Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, NLHF and Cheshire East Council to ensure the project is deliverable and fit for purpose.

Engaging with these key stakeholders pre contract enables us to implement our countdown to completion strategy which has facilitated the successful delivery of other projects on the Jodrell Bank site.

Other duties include:

• Site logistics and phasing around live and occupied environment
• Programme Management
• Liaison and coordination with ‘SKA Global HQ’ also being managed by Buro Four at Jodrell Bank
• Coordination with other University construction and LTM projects.