Jodrell Bank, home of bluedot Festival, awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status

 Jodrell Bank, home of bluedot Festival, awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status

Image credit: Scott Salt

Jodrell Bank, the Cheshire home of bluedot Festival, has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status after a 10-year campaign.

Jodrell Bank Observatory, dominated by the iconic Lovell Telescope (pictured), is said to have pioneered the science of radio astronomy. It’s been in use since 1945 when University of Manchester physicist Sir Bernard Lovell needed somewhere to study cosmic rays away from interference caused by Manchester’s electric trams on Oxford Road.

The 15,000-capacity bluedot Festival has been taking place at the site since 2015. Kraftwerk, New Order and Hot Chip are set to appear at this year’s event, which takes place in just under two weeks and completely sold out of weekend passes on Wednesday.

Bluedot Main Stage Lovell Telescope

Brian Cox and Richard Dawkins have previously appeared at bluedot, which places science at the heart of its line-up. Helen Sharman, the first British astronaut, is set to share her experiences in a talk at the festival later this month.

The BBC reported Professor Teresa Anderson, director of the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, said: “This is wonderful news and a great day in the history of Jodrell Bank.

“It honours the pioneering work of Sir Bernard Lovell and the early scientists here, together with the world-leading research that continues to this day.”

A University of Manchester spokeswoman said the observatory fulfilled the criteria of being “a masterpiece of human creative genius” due to its scientific achievements.

The observatory is among six sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage list today, with the others including two sites in Portugal and one in Spain.

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