Funding to keep museum flying

A POPULAR Weston museum has celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first helicopter flight by landing a £290,000 lottery grant. The cash will help keep the Helicopter Museum in Locking Moor Road in business long into the 21st century. The money will be u

A POPULAR Weston museum has celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first helicopter flight by landing a £290,000 lottery grant.The cash will help keep the Helicopter Museum in Locking Moor Road in business long into the 21st century.The money will be used to build new training facilities for aviation engineers and a 60-seat cinema.Awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the grant means the museum will also be able to employ an education officer to liaise with schools and colleges in the area to show off new interactive training materials such as life-size gearboxes.The museum, which opened in 1989, attracts 20,000 visitors each year and is the largest helicopter museum in the world. The chairman of the museum trustees, Elfan Ap Rees, said: "This grant will allow us to conserve our archives, which include technical manuals, photographs and films, which has long been a personal objective. We are pleased the lottery has supported this project."Construction will begin in April and the work is expected to take up to 18 months. The total cost of the scheme is £385,000 and the museum has managed to secure a further £95,000 in sponsorship from helicopter company Agusta Westland, Weston Town Council and the museum's Friends network.The museum has just completed a £150,000 new hangar from its own funds, and the grant marks the third phase of the museum's expansion.


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