§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment has been made with regard to the costs and employment consequences of the possible amalgamation of the Royal Greenwich Observatory and the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh on the Blackford Hill site in Edinburgh; whether further analysis on the merits of this proposal are planned; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Walden
The Science and Engineering Research Council is investigating in detail the merits and practicalities of moving the Royal Greenwich Observatory from its existing site at Herstmonceux to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh site at Blackford Hill, along with similar detailed studies of the implications of moving it to the campuses of Cambridge or Manchester universities. These studies will include a consideration of the costs and employment consequences.
The council has already stated that the move must be self-financing over five years and each of the three options is expected to meet this criterion. The council expects to resolve the issue at its meeting in June.