ING is happy to share with its user community the news that STFC
Council, at its meeting on Tuesday 29 May, resolved to support ING's
proposal for the UK's continued involvement in ING. The
STFC Council decision, explained by STFC CEO John Womersley, is 'to
extend operations of ING initially until 31 March 2015, which will
provide time for completing negotiations with the ING partners with
the goal of transferring ownership of the telescopes while retaining
continued access to the northern sky for UK astronomers.'

The full news item can be found at


This decision signals STFC's recognition of the importance given by UK
astronomers to continued access to the northern sky.
It's also a vote of confidence in ING's plans for the development
and scientific exploitation of the WEAVE multi-object spectrograph.
WEAVE is currently in its preliminary design phase, and a funding 
decision by
the ING partners will be sought in 2013.  With WEAVE we will carry 
out a number of ambitious spectroscopic surveys, including the northern-
follow-up of the Gaia mission. Read more about WEAVE at


On the basis of this decision by STFC, we expect that the
future of ING will broadly follow the strategy outlined on our web site,


In short, in the years up to the arrival of WEAVE, ING users will
continue to have access to those existing instruments which are still in 
high demand, and we plan to introduce long-term programmes to allow a 
range of high-profile science, from deep wide-field surveys to
time-domain astronomy.  Instrument enhancement will concentrate on
those instruments for which demand is highest.  We plan to continue
our visitor instrument programme, our student programme, and our
support for the development and prototyping of technologies needed for
the next generation of very large telescopes. We will also further 
our strategic partnership with the 10-m GTC.

Once WEAVE is at the telescope, currently expected in 2017, it
will take a large fraction of the WHT time.  The fraction of time
retained for observations with other instruments will be decided on the 
basis of user demand.

ING wants to thank you, our user community, for your continued interest 
in our telescopes.  This support has been crucial in developing our plans 
for the future.
We look forward to working with you to make these plans a reality and a 
scientific success.

We regret that the UK's support for our sister island site at
Hawaii, operating the JCMT and UKIRT, will extend to 2014 only.
We look forward to great science coming from SCUBA2 and UKIDSS in this
period, and hope that new owners are found, to keep these telescopes in

Marc Balcells
Director ING

Dr. Marc Balcells, Director
Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes
38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain
Tel. +34 922 425 403
balcells 'at' ing.iac.es

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