Grant for observatory’s astro imaging mission

A MAJOR North East tourist attraction has secured a grant towards developing its successful astro imaging academy.


Grant for observatory’s astro imaging mission

Kielder Observatory, in Northumberland, has received £75,000 from the Mindsets + Missions programme to encourage more diverse communities to be inspired by the night sky and help people understand the universe better. The funding will be part of a programme capturing images at the observatory's Gillian Dickinson Astroimaging Academy which will then be used for knowledge and research purposes. 

Catherine Johns, CEO of Kielder Observatory, who participated in a leadership programme run by Mindsets + Missions, said: “ Our existing outreach work tells us there is interest within under-represented groups but the means to participate is lacking.

"We're going to be co-creating content with them so it can empower them to participate in the generation of imagery and data to enrich academic research and further our understanding of the universe."

Mindsets + Missions is a pilot learning and grants programme designed to support museums, science centres and vibrant individuals from the sectors to realise new and creative approaches to serving their communities through inclusive, research-related projects.


The astro imaging programme at Kielder is one of 12 projects by museums and science centres across the country receiving grants totalling £827,945. 

Mindsets + Missions is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and delivered by Museums Association in partnership with The Liminal Space and the Association for Science and Discovery Centres.

Tom Saunders, head of public engagement at UKRI, said: "UKRI's ambition is to break down the barriers between research, innovation and society. We're excited to be working with these 12 organisations to explore the diverse ways that museums and science centres can open up research and innovation and connect with underrepresented groups."