HAVING benefitted from funding itself, the Kielder Observatory helped shine a light on 25 years of National Lottery funding.

As the landmark lottery hit its 25th birthday, the observatory joined a host of science and education sites across the North-East celebrating its role.

New research conducted by the lottery revealed Kielder was one of 25 science-related projects across the region that had benefitted from £17m since the first National Lottery draw in 1994.

Across the UK, lottery players have raised over £596m for 700 science-related projects over the past 25 years.

Kielder Observatory is the third largest Dark Sky Park in the world, due to minimal light pollution. It is estimated that 85 per cent of the UK population has never seen a truly dark sky.

Dan Pye, Kielder Observatory’s science presenter, said: “The things we can see in the sky are phenomenal.

“Galaxies up to 16 million light years away. One light year is about 5.8 trillion miles, so that’s a phenomenal distance.”

David Renwick, director north at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Set in Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, Kielder Observatory is the perfect place to experience and discover astronomy.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, a new observatory was created making more space and resources for the people who visit and an exciting programme of STEM events and activities for people of all ages.”

To celebrate the National Lottery’s 25th birthday, hundreds of attractions nationwide, including sites in Tynedale, were offering free entry, discounts and special offers to anyone arriving with a National Lottery ticket.

World-renowned UK astronaut, Tim Peake, has spoke of his gratitude to the National Lottery for funding science and education projects. He said, “The National Lottery has played a significant part in furthering science and education over the past 25 years and this can be seen in abundance through these attractions. It’s absolutely wonderful that The National Lottery has helped make these experiences possible, which will continue to open the eyes and minds of this generation and the ones to come.”