Kielder Observatory, a major North East tourist spot, has won a £75,000 grant from the Mindsets + Missions programme.

Focused on cultivating the interests of the cosmos in diverse communities, this support will boost the observatory's Gillian Dickinson Astroimaging Academy.

The goal is to facilitate a more profound understanding of the universe by capturing images for 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 supporting museums, science centres and vibrant individuals from the sectors.

These entities are driven to adopt fresh and creative strategies to serve their communities through comprehensive, research-oriented projects.

Amongst 12 establishments receiving grants across the country, Kielder's astro imaging programme is part of the cumulative £827,945 donated.

The Mindssets + Missions programme is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

It is 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.”