There has been some good news of late for those who seek to preserve and promote Britain’s aviation past. The Heritage Lottery Fund has decided to give backing to the Royal Air Force Museum at Hendon and the Brooklands Museum.
To quote from its official bumf, the HLF dedicates a proportion of the funds generated by the National Lottery ‘to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, it invests in every part of our diverse heritage.’
As a result, the RAF Museum has received £74,500 to develop a special exhibition to celebrate the centenary of the First World War in 2014. The museum in Grahame Park Way will display a collection of planes, letters, film and photographs depicting what it was like to be involved in the earliest days of the Royal Flying Corps.
For its part, the RAF Museum still hopes that this is only an installment, as it has set a target figure of £706,300 in order to complete its plans for the exhibition, which will be housed in the Grahame-White Factory, built in 1915 and moved brick-by-brick from its original location to the RAF Museum site in 2010.
Meanwhile to the south west of London, Brooklands has has received a first-round pass for a £4.85m bid from the HLF for the Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival Project.
In a similar move to that of the Graeme-White Factory, the plan is to relocate the wartime Wellington Hangar, built in 1939-40 on what was the race track’s celebrated Finishing Straight, to a new location on the infield. The Grade 2-listed building will then be refettled as The Brooklands Aircraft Factory, with a new annexe to house more of the museum’s outstanding collection of historic aircraft while the section of track which will be revealed after more than 70 years will also be renovated to allow more motoring events to take place.
The initial funding allocated in this first-round pass for this project is £286,500, to which the museum will add further cash and volunteer input to allow development work to a total value of almost £410,000 to be undertaken. It is then required to apply for the remainder of the full grant in 2015, once the initial work is approved by the HLF.