Biggin Hill Memorial Museum wins National Lottery support

Published Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a stage one pass for a grant of almost £2m towards the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum project. The unanimous award decision was made by the HLF’s London committee.

The council will now develop the project detail further, in partnership with the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust, and submit these detailed plans to the HLF’s London committee for final agreement in June 2017. The project architect is Robin Lee Architecture, and the exhibition designer is Redman Design. 

Cllr Stephen Carr, Leader of Bromley Council, said: “There has been a long standing wish to safeguard Biggin Hill’s Second World War heritage through the building of a museum. In partnership with the Trust, the Council will continue to work with like-minded groups and individuals to realise this important project.”

The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum will safeguard the future of St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance, and preserve and reveal Biggin Hill’s heritage to the generations. Biggin Hill played a pivotal role in the Second World War, particularly during the Battle of Britain as Sir Winston Churchill’s ‘strongest link’, and is of international importance.

The Trust’s patron, Randolph Churchill, said: Biggin Hill was at the forefront of action to defend our skies in the Battle of Britain. In recognition of the important part she played in that battle my great grandfather, Winston Churchill, personally led the fundraising campaign for the Chapel’s construction in 1951, to be a permanent shrine of remembrance to those who gave their lives for our freedom. This important museum will remember ‘The Few’ and honour the Many, ensuring that Biggin Hill’s internationally significant heritage is preserved in the nation’s memory.”

The overall project cost is more than £5m, and includes a significant endowment to the Trust to enable the museum to be self-sustaining in perpetuity. So far more than £1m has been secured in addition to HLF funding, and the project team has identified other potential sources of funding to reach the overall funding target. 

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “The people who served at Biggin Hill, particularly during the Battle of Britain, played a significant role in creating the world we live in today, and this project offers a fantastic opportunity to honour their memory, and preserve and make known their stories. We are very pleased that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to offer our support, and we look forward to seeing the detailed plans in due course”.

For further information about the museum, to get in touch with the project team, or to make a donation, visit http://www.bhmm.org.uk/. The project team especially wishes people to make contact who have any memories, stories or objects related to Biggin Hill’s First and Second World War history to form part of the museum’s collection. 

This announcement comes the same month that Bromley’s new Historic Collections exhibitions opened in Bromley Central Library, reinterpreting Bromley’s past and the life of important Victorian resident Sir John Lubbock. 

ENDS 

For media enquiries, please contact Andrew Rogers, Communications Advisor, on 020 8461 7670 or email andrew.rogers@bromley.gov.uk

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. http://www.hlf.org.uk/ @heritagelottery @HLFLondon