It now seems likely that the RGO will be sold and its staff either transferred to other work or made redundant.

The RGO is run by the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and provides technical support for the UK's overseas telescopes. But in July, PPARC decided to concentrate this activity at a new Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh. Staf f at the RGO then devised plans for the observatory to become an independent institute but PPARC has now rejected these plans.

Three possible options now exist: the RGO could be run as an independent institute if it can raise enough money; it could be bought by a university; or it could be split up and run by several different organizations. The third option seems the most likely .