Rolls-Royce pledges £1m towards Bristol Aerospace Centre

Bristol Aero Collection.

Plans to build an aerospace heritage museum in Patchway, on land north of the now-closed Filton Airfield, have moved another step closer with the news that Rolls-Royce has pledged £1 million to the project.

It is hoped that museum will also provide a permanent home for the ‘Bristol’ Concorde, which is currently stored at a temporary location on the south side of the runway.

Rolls-Royce joins BAE Systems and Airbus in pledging financial support towards the Bristol Aerospace Centre, the planned heritage and learning centre on the former airfield.

The Bristol Aero Collection Trust, which is managing the project, expects to hear the response to its £4.5 million Heritage Lottery Fund bid by the end of May 2013.

The support from Rolls-Royce also includes technical help, and a number of historic aero-engines supplied by the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. Added to those that were previously on display in the Bristol Aero Collection’s hangar at Kemble, this will create the finest collection of Bristol-built aero-engines to go on public display anywhere.

Lloyd Burnell, the project director for the group, said:

“We are very grateful to Rolls-Royce for pledging its support for the Bristol Aerospace Centre. We are really pleased with the donation.”

“If all the funding goes ahead we will be looking at a shortfall of less than £4 million, which we need to raise from the private sector, but this would be a very big step in the right direction.”

The Bristol Aerospace Centre will bring together Bristol’s important aviation heritage, which is currently spread across various collections, many inaccessible to the public.

As well as celebrating over one hundred years of Bristol’s exceptional aviation heritage, this project will be an inspiration to the next generation of scientists, designers, innovators and engineers.

Mr Burnell added:

“One of the key aims of the new centre is the use of exhibits and interactive displays to promote the Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing (STEM) educational agenda to younger visitors who we wish to inspire to become the aerospace pioneers of the future.”

“We look forward to working with the team at Rolls-Royce to develop an exciting programme of skills and learning activities with our local schools, colleges and universities to cement Bristol’s position as a global centre of excellence in the aerospace industry.”

Concorde G-BOAF at Filton Airfield.

Photo: Concorde G-BOAF picture at its present temporary location, south of the runway.

Related link: Concorde at Filton

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