The last surviving Dornier Do 17, now on display at RAF Museum Hendon

Budget 2015: funding for RAF Museum Hendon and Bristol Aerospace Centre

Patrick Steel, 18.03.2015
Museums benefit from £75m Libor fines
In today's pre-election budget, the chancellor George Osborne announced that £75m of Libor fines would go towards military charities and other good causes, including £2.5m to renovate the RAF Museum Hendon, and £2m to create the Bristol Aerospace Centre in Filton, a new museum to commemorate the UK’s flying heritage.

The budget will also see £1m to maintain the RAF Biggin Hill Chapel Memorial, £1.5m to restore the Stow Maries Aerodrome, the base of the first Royal Flying Corps Squadron, £1m to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, £2m towards the 70th anniversary of VE Day, and £1m towards the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Museums will also benefit from new arrangements for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which will see a change in the law to allow charities to claim a maximum of £8,000, up from £5,000, annually through the scheme from April 2016.

And the chancellor confirmed that £8.98m, announced earlier this year, would be invested in culture and tourism as part of the government’s long-term economic plans.

But he also announced a further £13bn in departmental savings by 2017-18, which could see further cuts at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Sharon Heal, the Museums Association’s director, said: “DCMS accounts for such a small proportion of government spending that it would be a shame if it was further squeezed.

“The Museums Association welcomes the extension to the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which is helpful to many smaller museums.

“And congratulations to the RAF Museum for the well-deserved investment in its renovation, and to the Bristol Aerospace Centre.”


Budget 2015


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Tony Butler
MA Member
Executive Director, Derby Museums Trust
20.03.2015, 11:27
Great news for those museums and our glorious military achievements.

If only some of this investment could go into an endowment fund for our larger regional museums. As discretionary services they will feel the brunt of even steeper Austerity measures passed onto local government and not so widely publicised in the Budget
Fiona Mitchell-Innes
MA Member
Director, Culture Business
19.03.2015, 11:44
Great news for these museums but is this not funding to fill funding black holes that have been left because the MOD can no longer afford to support museums like this. In the past I believe I am right in thinking such new developments would've fallen under the MOD wing (no pun intended). This investment will keep the 'top brass' from being vocal again about cuts. I may be wrong and would be happy to be corrected for my cynicism.
Vanessa Trevelyan
MA Member
Consultant, Vanessa Trevelyan Consultancy
19.03.2015, 09:50
While delighted that any museum should receive a substantial and much needed grant, there seems to be a distinct lack of strategic thought to this generosity. Partly this stems from separate arrangements for overseeing and managing the nationals and the regionals.
Oliver Green
MA Member
18.03.2015, 18:02
It's good to see the RAF Museum and the Bristol Aerospace Centre getting this substantial and unexpected largesse from the government through the redistribution of Libor fines, but is this a one-off gesture or a new funding model? At a time of heavy cuts to most cultural funding it seems bizarre to be awarding millions to anniversary commemorations of three long gone military victories. I'd call that a serious waste of public money, George!