Re: Doesn't that mean the crap dish can't be replaced by new gear?
but I would rather have top gear getting new data
It is more cost effective to just buy/rent a piece of land in the deepest darkest Eastern Europe, Australia, Canada or South America.
The issue with any astronomical equipment (both radio and optical) in UK or other densely inhabited parts of Western Europe is that the background noise pollution is off the scale.
It has been admitted for a while regarding optical. That is why most UK optical astronomers are camping on La Palma, Rozhen and a few other sites elsewhere in Europe when working with the northern hemisphere (they go to Atacama for a view of the Southern one). It is about time we admit defeat regarding radio-astronomy too.
Jodrell is not the only place on its way to be mothballed or dismantled. As recent as 10 years ago Cambridge university immediately assumed the Fire-breathing dragon posture when anyone mentioned the possibility of the restoration of the Cambridge-Oxford rail line, because the astronomy department had a long base interferometry antenna wondering along a chunk of it. No more (and nobody has seen that antenna for a few years now).