Budget boost for Bristol Aerospace Museum

Filton Airfield's hangar 16S, where the main heritage exhibition of the proposed Bristol Aero Museum will be located.

The Bristol Aero Collection Trust has been awarded a £2 million grant from the LIBOR fund (of fines imposed on banks) to support the creation of the Bristol Aerospace Centre, an aerospace industrial museum and learning centre on Filton’s historic airfield site, one of the birthplaces of British aviation.

The new museum will be located on the Patchway side of the former airfield, close to Hayes Way, the new road which links the A38 Gloucester Road with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway.

Lloyd Burnell, Project Director of the Trust said:

“We are absolutely delighted that the Chancellor announced, in his recent budget, the award of £2 million of LIBOR funding for the Bristol Aerospace Centre and are extremely grateful to Jack Lopresti, MP for Bradley Stoke and Filton for his tireless campaigning on our behalf.”

“This exciting new £16 million project, which will also provide a fitting home for Concorde, is already supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, industry partners BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and Airbus, and South Gloucestershire Council.”

The Chancellor, George Osborne said:

“In every Budget we have used LIBOR fines paid by those who have demonstrated the worst in values, to support those who represent the very best of British values. Jack Lopresti brought to my attention the proposal for a new museum to commemorate the UK flying heritage at Filton in Bristol. At the Budget I was pleased to announce £2 million for the Bristol Aerospace Centre to help fund this important project to preserve our aviation history.”

Jack Lopresti MP says:

“The £2m from George Osborne for the Bristol Aero Collection Trust is fantastic news and means that the Concorde and aviation museum should actually go ahead. The Bristol Aerospace Centre project is a fitting tribute to Concorde and the rest of our aerospace heritage in Filton; honouring the people who have made such a contribution to Britain’s aerospace industry, and the defence of the realm, for over a century.”

As a part of the exhibitions, Bristol’s long-standing contribution to the UK’s military efforts will be recognised and celebrated at the new Centre: from the Bristol Fighter of World War One through to today’s Airbus A400M Atlas, the first of which was recently named ‘City of Bristol’ by the RAF.

The project’s 9.5 acres airfield site includes two Grade II listed hangars built by the Royal Flying Corp during World War One and have been described by English Heritage as, “a rare surviving example of the earliest standard type of hangar” and “the most complete of any of these types of sites in existence”. They were later home to 501 Squadron which won seven honours in World War Two, and was one of the most heavily engaged units in RAF Fighter Command.

To inspire current and future generations, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning and skills will be at the heart of the Bristol Aerospace Centre, with activities and programmes attracting tens of thousands of school children so vital to address the UK’s forecast shortfall in STEM graduates and apprentices.

Construction work on the Bristol Aerospace Centre is due to start later this year with public opening scheduled in the first half of 2017.

Source: Press release from the Bristol Aero Collection Trust.


  1. As this was announced in the Bristol Post on March 17th, I can only assume this is the Eds way of getting Jack’s name on the pages of Patchway Journal.

  2. Perhaps also posting the very interesting article on the FABS election by Ian Onions in the Bristol Post which touches heavily on the airfield sale and indeed the closure of Highwood Rd, mentioning Jack Lopresti, Ben Walker being written off, and Ian Boulton’s possible chances amongst the several candidates could also be shared here in the interest of balance regards this whole subject? Certainly topical on many levels in relation to the above article and issues mentioned….

  3. You councillors/politicians are very good at getting your name on the “ By line” when it comes to the good news stories,,, but trying and get one of you interested, or to even recognise a real issue is impossible. What about getting your hands dirty on some of the Patchway issues ? things like littering, parking, street care, the fact that the only SGC investment in Patchway in the last 20 years has been the Patchway Hub and social housing (which has caused most of the issues) what happened to the Patchway future centre ???? don’t tell me …… 10 years down the line ,,,,, may be !

  4. Do you really think that’s how I’m motivated neighbour Rodders?? To get my name on a byline?? Really? Tragic. Come knock on my door and have a chat in the open anytime at Number 84 to discuss this or any issue.
    Attempts at all the issues you mention are all constantly being addressed and ongoing, and always will be, you may well see the yellow lines outside your house very soon, that’s all being worked on.
    As for your discontent with SGC totally agree with you, trying to get money for Patchway at SGC is like pulling teeth, I actually despise SGC which is run by a Tory Liberal Massive Majority who always vote down their party lines against us here, like closing Highwood Road, whether you were in favour or not.
    A prominent Tory Figure here who is now standing in Stoke Lodge also blocks any funding attempts by the community centres and others here, go ask these neutral voters who have attended these meetings from each centre, they can tell you what goes down, which is why I’m totally sickened by local politics, I tried, I really did, you would be surprised at what goes on. Or maybe not. I’m as cynical as you are now after actually having a go at it.

  5. @Rodders in fairness to Lopresti, when I wrote to him a few years ago about the shocking one train per hour service from Patchway, he wrote to Andy Hopwood (MD at First Great Western) and copied me in on all of the correspondence.

    So he did at least try; it wasn’t his fault First Great Western care as much about their customers as a dog does its fleas.

  6. @Rodders
    the Councillors who sit around the table at Patchway town council do so in their own time, they attend meetings several times a month both during the day and in the evenings, some are involved with other groups in Patchway, the issues you have raised are almost monthly pushed with SGC and it’s officers, SGC are withdrawing from any service they do not have a legal requirement to do, to give you an example they do not have to supply and empty dog poo bins, so Patchway have taken on this task, but at extra cost to us the tax payer, but SGC do have to clear up dog mess on the pavement, as for looking to have my name in the press, it’s something i try to avoid but when i comment on forums like this I always use my name and don’t hide behind non name

  7. Isn’t the bigger story here the question as to why a Concorde aircraft was parked up and exposed to the British climate instead of being housed indoors from day one?

    And then we all wonder why, when a group of enthusiasts announce that they want to get a CofA to enable the craft to fly pleasure trips again, it gets rejected because the thing’s rusted to hell.

    Hint: Britain is damp; very damp. Metal and damp don’t go together, I learned that when I was aged 9 in chemistry classes.

  8. That’s definitely the bigger story here Cav M. Scratch the surface and the whole subject is uncomfortable, (away from the HR PR) taking Concorde out of service, the decline of Filton’s constituent sites, the sale of its manufacturing parts to suppliers, the sale of the airfield, and on and on and on. The conspiracy theorists have a field day, but Filton has lost out badly to national and international manufacturing rivals here, a museum where we could still be growing rather than shrinking. Concordes decline in all weathers is kind of symbolic to the treatment of the whole site, some people somewhere who should care, and could care, didn’t, and don’t. Glad I flew on the old girl, they can never take that away from me.

  9. Stop all this political rubbish on here for now can you and just be pleased there is more money towards this
    Now all we need is it to be built

  10. Reading through the comments here,, what your saying is that because Patchway town council is labour it gets no support from the “Tory Liberal Massive Majority” ???? so if everyone in Patchway votes in a tory council, things should change ? to be honest, i don’t have a view on what political party is in power. action speaks louder than words and that gets my vote.. or we could have some more meetings, and consulations and meetings, and meetings, some reports.
    Thanks for the offer Dave to come and talk face to face, but as you say in your post, it won’t change anything, as request for funding to make change, gets voted down. Last year PTC funding was over £600,000, of which just over £1000 was spent on street furniture, like bins. littering is an offence, if SGC employed an officer to issue fines for littering, thousands would be made each week by standing outside the Patchway hub/Spar shop. And as for yellow lines outside my house ,,, great,, so where will the public park ???? the issue is parking space,, not more parking restrictions (which again, won’t be policed anyway) and as i am sure you know the old british legion in Roddway road is up for sale, as i understand it Merlin/SGC want to build 16 social housing flats on the site, Parking for the flats ?
    I have in the past spoken to SGC over issues and ideas,, who then refer me to PTC, i have then spoken to PTC, who then blame SGC and lack of funding.
    From where i sit as a member of the Public whos tax pays for this tit for tat,, until SGC and PTC start working with eachother and not against eachother, nothing will change.

  11. Concord is metal/plastic/rubber that was shaped and moulding into one of the greatest pieces of British engineering of our time by men and women from Patchway and Filton. It was those people that made Concord what it is today, many of which still live in Patchway. Its a shame we don’t invest in the resting place for the creators, without them ,,,,, metal, plastic,rubber.

  12. Yes you are not entirely wrong Rodders. PTC are here to manage what’s passed down from above, you obviously read the finances, how they are distributed just gets harder as it seems to be more and more services cut or passed down to PTC to pick up by SGC, rather than SGC take ‘blame’ or responsibility for them happening. Whether a different PTC made up of more in common with SGC would be more ‘giving’ is debatable as I’m told the same things that happened to the community centres and people here are now happening to users of Patchway common and pitches now they will fall under such a new parish with the same people who operated here. Time will tell. The yellow lining will be controversial for sure but is based on those who responded to ‘consultation’ they are a knock on from Highwood closing and part of SGCs plans to appease and help traffic issues in the area. The mismanagement of the Legion was tragic, I see it as a loss here. Not sure what’s next, Pall Mall HQ are the sellers. You are probably right. More people, more cars yes, like the airfield. Maybe Metrobus will actually be the answer after all! George Ferguson is trying to get us out of our cars and is hated for it! I’m not trying to pass bucks or play blame games, anyone who attends Area forums where cash is handed out or SGC where the voting always goes down party lines can witness what I’m saying first hand, leading me to think trying was futile, there are some good people trying all around here (I’m not claiming to be one of them) but it’s difficult and frustrating, anyone else is welcome to try, please, believe me. Perhaps those who do make harsh decisions do so to try and keep more tax in your pocket, and indeed their own, it does boil down to taxes for services and VFM, and ultimately if you care about some services over others, then we get into the cliches about who is frivolous with taxpayers money, and on we go again! Can’t say much else, that’s just how I see it, clearly others see it differently, that’s life I guess.

  13. I do read the finances Dave £250,000 a year on wages, what’s that 10 staff on 25g each ? £20,000 a year on admin ? thats £400 a week on admin !!!
    your right, it’s deciding the best way to spend the money..
    traffic, parking, rat run issues,, close the last part of highwood road between coniston road and the standing stone round-a-bout, then everyone from patchway, stoke lodge ,little stoke, stoke gifford, bradley stoke will have to use hayes way to get to the mall…. rat run issue solved. Yellow lines,,, just paint on the floor unless you enforce it, and that’s not being done now with current restrictions, so what will change ?
    Here is just an idea, instead of painting the community centre, which, in a few years may well be pulled down to make way for flats, spend the money on some litter bins outside the rank of shops opposite the Hub, where people can see them and use them and once a day, empty them, would take just a few minutes to empty them each day, in fact i’m sure the hub will have a grounds/handyman that could do that.. That would be a start. PTC could provide the bins and SGC could empty them,,, woking togeather ..

  14. Dear Gary

    your email to both SGC and PTC seemed to indicate your intention to “Get Involved” in your local area, you appeared to suggest you were going to attend PTC meetings, I can’t recall seeing you at any!.

    It’s easy to look at a finance report and pick figures out of it almost at random, you need to look at the whole thing, as for all staff getting 25K, we have only just managed to move our last staff member up to the “Living Wage” I’m sure he would love to be on 25K,

    Dave Tiley offered you a face to face, you are more than welcome to contact myself, my address is on the website and I’m sure the office will pass on any request if you would like to meet elsewhere

    As for SGC emptying bins, they will only empty bins they install, any bin PTC have installed both rubbish and dog waste, PTC now have to empty and dispose of the rubbish, in a skip “we” (Patchway tax payers) have to pay viridor to empty at least twice a month, PTC are not allowed to use the sort-it centre in Little Stoke.

    It’s easy to sit on the side lines and snipe, not so easy to put your “Free” time into helping where you live.

  15. Chris,
    I did go to a council meeting, but was told i could not speak, i went to the council office in rodway road on the night that i would be allowed to speak and the door was locked. I met with keith walker and gave all this information, and was told the same . “SGC won’t fund anything” SGC don’t take any notice of PTC. So, i hope you can understand my frustration, when i speak to SGC, and am advised to speak to PTC and when i do, PTC tell me its SGC job… so yes i do snipe because PTC are happy to pay £500 to put litter bins in Scott Park and empty them, but not on Rodway road where litter is a big issue.
    Its also very easy to sit on the side line and say its SGC fault and we don’t have the money.

  16. The other issue i have after today is as much as i would like to be involved more and give my free time, i wouldn’t be “politically aligned” with PTC

  17. Before this descends any further, which I don’t want it to, i have cross referenced emails and meeting attendances, looks like a Gary attended in February Chris, I was working and you were ill. It also appears he met Keith Walker, but I don’t know what the outcome was from that sorry.

    New ideas new input and new money are always welcome here, I’d like to see Gary and Lorraine on the council, it might help, we look like we are getting a retired PCSO on the council in Ros, so she might be bigger on enforcement of litter picking and may have more experience to bring on that and any issues maybe, despite the Stoke Lodge influence unfortunately.

    We also have the return of Ken Dando as a Conservative, from being a Liberal, so new faces and old faces and a couple of UKIPpers too will see fresh debate, or maybe not, just fresh bickering sadly.

    Picking though the finances and making assumptions is misleading, but you are right to want to know where your money is going, further questions can always be asked and answered.

    It should be noted that Chris and his team inherited virtual bankruptcy here, there was a hell of a shock found in the accounts, and he worked tirelessly despite ill health to turn that around, this is going to blow up unpleasantly now, but I trust this guy with my life, and know who and what are less publicly transparent and still taking money from tax payers elsewhere, it’s an old story and I have debated it with the Ed, it’s all true but a little knowledge is dangerous, sadly people who have had their hands on the rudder in the past really shouldn’t be near public money.

    That’s about all I can say on here, I know i get on people’s nerves so I better give it up now. Good luck to triers.

  18. @Rodders I take your points onboard and agree with them but, in fairness, £250k a year on salaries, whilst seeming extortionate might be 20 members of staff on minimum wage.

    Likewise £20k a year on admin again seems Labour-esque in cost (it’s someone else’s money, let’s throw it around) but it might be 1 person on minimum wage and another part-timer.

    You need to dig deeper to find what makes up the top line number.

  19. Dave,
    Thank you, but I don’t think I would be the right person to be a member of a town council.
    One, I would want to publish detailed and open transparent accounts of where the public’s money was spent.
    Two, I would want to vote yes or no on projects based on best valve and in the public interest.
    Three, I wouldn’t care who or where and idea came from, if I felt it was a good idea, I would vote for it, regardless of my politicall alinement

  20. Gary

    in the 4 years I have been a councillor, I believe myself and others have worked to the 3 points you have made, I’m not a councillor working for Labour in Patchway, I’m a Patchway resident who is a councillor who is also a member of the Labour party.

    I have never followed a whip or when I was chair of the council asked for a whip.

    If you would like a chat but not a face to face please contact the council office I have asked them to pass on my mobile number to you


    Chris Mills,

  21. Very good points Rodders (not sure why they are calling you Gary ) as you have wrote down as Rodder’s and they should respect that
    Things seem so simple sometimes but when it comes to implementing them there is all out arguments and it doesn’t get done or it takes twice as long and costs double
    PTC blame SGC,SGC blame PTC and it goes on and on untill they can all work together it will not change

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