The Bristol Aero Collection Trust is another step closer to building a permanent home for Bristol’s Concorde, thanks to a £1 million pledge from Rolls-Royce. Rolls-Royce join BAE Systems and Airbus in pledging financial support towards the Bristol Aerospace Centre, the planned heritage and learning centre on the former airfield at Filton. The Bristol Aero Collection Trust, which is managing the project, expects to hear the response to its £4.5 million Heritage Lottery Fund bid by the end of May 2013.
The support from Rolls-Royce also includes technical help, and a number of historic aero-engines supplied by the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust. Added to those that were previously on display in the Bristol Aero Collection’s hangar at Kemble, this will create the finest collection of Bristol-built aero-engines to go on public display anywhere.
Lloyd Burnell, the project director for the group, said: "We are very grateful to Rolls-Royce for pledging its support for the Bristol Aerospace Centre. We are really pleased with the donation.
"If all the funding goes ahead we will be looking at a shortfall of less than £4 million, which we need to raise from the private sector, but this would be a very big step in the right direction.
"We are feeling very optimistic – but we have been in this position before.
"The Bristol Aerospace Centre will bring together Bristol's important aviation heritage, which is currently in various collections, many inaccessible to the public.
"As well as celebrating over one hundred years of Bristol's exceptional aviation heritage, this project will be an inspiration to the next generation of scientists, designers, innovators and engineers.
"One of the key aims of the new centre is the use of exhibits and interactive displays to promote the Science Technology Engineering and Manufacturing (STEM) educational agenda to younger visitors who we wish to inspire to become the aerospace pioneers of the future. We look forward to working with the team at Rolls-Royce to develop an exciting programme of skills and learning activities with our local schools, colleges and universities to cement Bristol's position as a global centre of excellence in the aerospace industry."