The Museum of Army Flying’s application for £1.59 million National Lottery funding has been given the green light. This means that its exciting re-development plan, Project Eagle, can go ahead.
The funding – a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, has been matched by a further £900,000 raised by the Museum itself, bringing the total project costs to nearly £3million.
Project Eagle focuses on the expansion and modernisation of the Museum’s archive which will contain a matchless record of Army flying exploits, and a complete update and reinterpretation of its unique collection.
The MAF is the only museum in the world dedicated to telling the internationally significant story of British Army flying. The museum’s unique location allows visitors to see Army aircraft in action, and tells stories of famous operations, from daring glider landings at Pegasus Bridge in Normandy on the eve of D-Day to operations in Suez, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The project, which will secure the future of the Museum for generations to come, aims to get people involved with discovering and re-engaging with the stories of British Army flying – stories of courage, comradeship and innovation. Featuring an important 3 year community, educational and volunteer programme, there will be a new learning and schools programme, oral history project, pop up museum, internship programme, and kids club on site.
Commenting on the award, Chris Munns, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a most important milestone and a testament to all those that have helped with the planning of the project and the excellent support that we have received from the National Lottery and HLF.”
Michelle Roffe, Head of HLF South East, said: “This is a really exciting time for the Museum of Army Flying. Thanks to National Lottery players, the museum will now be able to reconnect with and boost visitor numbers, revitalise its displays and offer a whole host of opportunities for people to get involved with this important part of our regimental history.”
It is expected that the modernisation work will be conducted over the winter 2018/19, and the Museum will re-open in April 2019.
The Museum of Army Flying is the Regimental Museum of the Army Air Corps (AAC), and is the only museum that tells the unique and powerful story of British Army flying. Built in the 1980s, the Museum has been considerably expanded and now contains over 40 aircraft, hundreds of smaller artefacts and an archive that holds 500,000 documents and 30,000 photographs. The Museum has held the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the last 4 years. Over 30,000 visitors entered the Museum last year (a 25% increase in 3 years. Trustees have agreed to embark on a major modernisation and improvement programme (known as Project Eagle) that will promote learning, better conserve our heritage, bring the Museum into the heart of the community, engage more volunteers, provide increased visitor impact and give many more visitors a great day out.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.
For further information, images and interviews please contact Joe Faretra at the Museum of Army Flying on 01264 784421 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.