Chancellor's budget cash boost could see Biggin Hill museum plan take off
PUBLISHED: 15:46 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 15:46 19 March 2015
£1 million for Battle of Britain Chapel of Remembrance
GEORGE Osborne’s announcement of £1m for St George’s RAF Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill could pave the way for a museum at the site.
Co-inciding with the 75th anniversary year of the Battle of Britain, the chancellor yesterday (Wednesday) pledged the cash in his last budget before the general election saying he was going to make sure future generations are aware Biggin Hill’s historical significance.
Biggin Hill is best-known for its role during the summer and autumn of 1940 in the Second World War, when it served as one of the main fighter bases protecting London and South East England from attack by enemy bombers.
And the chancellor’s cash boost has been welcomed by Bromley council, which says it has been in discussions with the Government about the long-term future of the chapel and the possibility of a new museum at the site.
The council hopes ‘a museum would act as a memorial and tribute to remind future generations about the sacrifices made by airmen and ground crew at Biggin Hill in World War Two, particularly during the Battle of Britain.’
Council leader Stephen Carr said, “We are very pleased by this news and will continue to work with RAF, the church and other stakeholders to ensure that the sacrifices made for all of us at Biggin Hill are never forgotten.
“Whilst we await the details, the long-held aspiration of a museum has nevertheless moved forwards today. There is much work to be done, including launching a fundraising campaign, and with the help of the nation, we are absolutely determined to make this happen.”
As recently as December, the future of the chapel was under threat when the Ministry of Defence announced it was to stop funding it - in January, Biggin Hill Airport stepped in and offered to cover the memorial’s running costs.