Lifeline grants from the latest round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will protect a further 162 heritage sites to ensure that jobs and access to arts, culture and heritage in local communities are protected in the months ahead, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Historic sites and organisations including the WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust will receive help to meet ongoing costs and support to restart activity when it is possible to do so safely.

The WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust has been awarded £24000 towards helping to ‘Keep the Aviation Legacy of the Great War alive’.  The Trust will now be able to service and repair its BE2 and Albatros so that they are ready to fly for next season. We also plan to increase our educational presence by upgrading our Rocking Nacelle (1915 Flight Simulator) by fitting it to a trolley so that we can take it to venues rather than waiting for budding pilots to come to us and we will refresh the VR missions that you can fly in it.  We also plan a programme of webinars on flying and operating WW1 aircraft which will be given by our Chief Pilot.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:

“These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.

From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”

Chief Trustee, Dick Forsythe, said:

“This Grant is a lifeline for the Trust as our normal income from air shows and other displays has dwindled to nothing through 2019 because of COVID. We are incredibly grateful to  Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund for making this funding available.”

The WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust came into being into 2013 after a visit to New Zealand by myself and set up at Stow Maries where we are to this day.  The Vintage Aviator in Wellington offered to loan the Trust four aircraft – 2 BE2s, an Albatros and a Sopwith Snipe – all reproductions authentic to the last detail.  This authenticity makes them much admired by old and young alike in part because all the challenges of flying them 100 years ago are still plain for all to see. In 2018, the Trust was joined by John Gilbert and his Nieuport 17 and we are hoping to see a Fokker DVII under construction in Austria join our fleet next year.  We then hope the COVID situation will permit the resumption of air show flying and that we will be able to expand our educational activities giving lectures about aviation of the era and extending our flight simulator VR experience to many more people.