§ Mr. George Osborne
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the future funding of Jodrell Bank Observatory. 
§ Ms Hewitt
Jodrell Bank Observatory is owned and operated by the University of Manchester, who are responsible for its funding and operation. It has successfully applied for and received a rolling grant from the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) for a number of years for astronomical research. That grant was last reassessed in September 2001, and PPARC awarded Jodrell Bank Observatory just over £2 million for the four years until September 2005. The grant will next come up for reassessment in September 2003. Jodrell Bank Observatory also co-ordinates the MERLIN network of radio telescopes, for which it receives a separate grant from PPARC of approximately £2.2 million per year. This grant is due to expire in 2003. It is currently being reassessed.