The National Lottery Grants £4.3 Million to WWI Restoration Project
STOW maries great war aerodrome is a museum in the UK dedicated to guiding tours of refurbished WWI airfield housing. They also include original remains of RAF operations buildings within those tours. It is a UK favorite which some believe to be the best in the world of its kind, and now the museum has been awarded a massive £4.3 million in grant funding.
In 1916, the airfield of First World War was built in Hackmans Lane, Purleigh. The National Lottery has now granted them with this huge sum of money to help them restore multiple buildings on their site. These building will be made into new attractions for visitors.
In the airfield, 24 of the structures survived. They remain almost unaltered until this day, even after being taken out of service back in 1919. The museum began taking on building restorations one-by-one since early 2015. Now, it has become a massive restoration project that included a £4.3 million grant from the National Lottery. This grant backs a vision of making the STOW maries great war aerodrome a huge attraction for those visiting the UK.
Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Mr. Ros Kerslake, had a comment on the grant saying, “Stow Maries is a remarkable place, providing a unique insight into First World War aviation.” Hopefully, UK visitors will increase their interest in visiting if the museum receives some fantastic updates, attracting citizens of the UK as well.
Mr. Kerslake continued to say, “The fact that the aerodrome was largely forgotten for so many decades only adds to its mystique and appeal, but also means that surviving structures are in such well-preserved, original condition. This support from the National Lottery will help Stow Maries become the major visitor attraction it deserves to be.”
After playing a massive part in protecting the UK from Gotha bombers and German Zeppelins throughout the First World War, this WWI site attracts over 12,000 visitors annually. A large portion of the proceeds from those visitors will be put to use within these restoration projects.
The revenue from visitors alone should be enough to refurbish five of the buildings. This would bring them back to being usable. Four of these buildings are on the Heritage at Risk register. One of these buildings will become a welcome center with a café and a gift shop, to give the site a bit more purpose.
There will also be a new officer’s accommodation block. This will be completely restored and be home to a brand new permanent exhibition which will help visitors gain a true feel for what it was like to be Royal Flying Corps officer. More plans are underway for the grant’s use and the museum’s restoration, the UK is excited to see the new and updated version of this favorite attraction.