It’s chocks away for a £3.6 million project to transform two hangars at the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune into new exhibition space.
National Museums Scotland has received a £1.3 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to help with the cost of the work. The funding package also includes £1.8 million from the Scottish Government.
Located at the former RAF Station at East Fortune, the site is considered to be the best preserved Second World War airfield in the UK.
The new project, which will be completed in 2016, will see the conservation and restoration of two nationally significant Second World War hangars and also the creation of new exhibitions within them.
More than £3.1 million of funding is now in place.
Built in 1940-41, the hangars are part of the East Fortune Airfield Scheduled Monument, and had an original projected lifespan of only around 10 years.
They will be carefully restored to their original condition and the visitor experience will be enhanced by the introduction of new displays and interpretation.
Once complete, one hangar will be used to display military aircraft while the other will house smaller commercial and leisure aircraft dating from 1939 onwards.
An English Electric Lightning, the RAF’s first supersonic jet fighter, which could match the speed of Concorde, an RAF Panavia Tornado, a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer and a Britten Norman Islander are among the aircraft which will be on display in the restored hangars.
The hangars, which will close to the public next month, will be heated and insulated for the first time. An environmentally friendly ground source heating system will be installed as part of the restoration project.
The enhancement of the environment of the spaces will allow a selection of objects which are currently in storage – including uniforms, documents and photographs – to be displayed alongside the aircraft.
The improvements will also enable audio visual and interactive exhibits to be used for the first time in the displays.
Dr Gordon Rintoul, director of National Museums Scotland, commented: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded funding for the next phase of our development plan for the National Museum of Flight at East Fortune.
“It allows us to restore these important structures, which long ago surpassed their original intended lifespan, and to enhance the visitor experience at what is already one of Europe’s major aviation museums, showcasing our internationally significant collections to best effect.”