A NORTH Tyne tourist attraction has received a cash boost to help children access jobs of the future.

Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society was granted £240,000 by the cabinet of the North of Tyne Combined Authority when it held its first meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting was the first to be chaired by newly elected North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll.

A report recommended that the organisation received the grant following a call for projects which were considered by the combined authority’s investment panel.

The Kielder Observatory project will use the cash boost to inspire primary and secondary aged children with science by using the charity’s state-of-the-art astronomy equipment.

Over the next three years, the funding will enable up to 10,000 children and young people each year to take part in school-based science experiences.

In addition, each host school will receive an astronomy kit complete with telescope and be given access to a dedicated website so that staff and children can continue to study remotely.

Peter Standfield, chairman of the Kielder Observatory Astronomical Society, said: “We’re delighted that the combined authority is investing in our outreach programme as a means of inspiring closer engagement with the STEM subjects that will help them to access the jobs of the future.”

The cash is intended to encourage more young people to choose a career in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics and develop digital skills to meet demand in key areas of the labour market.

Mr Driscoll said: “The more we can fire children’s enthusiasm for careers in these industries, the stronger our economy will be.”