Royal Armouries launches final funding push to secure transformation of Fort Nelson

By Culture24 Staff | 28 May 2010
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a computer mock up of a gallery display featuring cannons and artillery

(Above) One of the gallery concepts for the redevelopment at Fort Nelson

The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson has launched an appeal to raise the final £300,000 in a long-fought fundraising campaign that will safeguard its important collection and transform it into a 21st century attraction.

Home to a national collection of artillery and cannon, the Victorian defensive fort overlooking the Portsmouth naval base became part of the Royal Armouries in 1995 and, as a national museum, offers free entry.

It has over 350 big guns and historic cannon on display including the Great Turkish Bombard of 1464 that once protected the Dardanelles as well as French field guns captured at the Battle of Waterloo.

Having already raised most of the cash for its revamp with the help of a number of charitable trusts and organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and MLA Purchase Grant Fund, the museum now needs to raise the final £300,000 to put in place the £3.5m redevelopment.

a photograph of a child standing next to a medieval trebuchet

(Above) A medieval trebuchet was drafted in to help with the fund-raising launch

“This is our final drive to achieve our funding target and contributions, big and small, will make a difference,” said Sean Mannie, head of the Royal Armouries South.

To help with the final push 51 pupils from Northern Junior School, Portchester, were at the Fort this week Thursday May 27 to watch the firing of one of the earliest artillery devices - a replica medieval trebuchet - at the official launch to raise the remaining cash.

“It’s fitting that we were joined at the appeal launch by Year 6 pupils from one of our local schools as one of our key aims is to secure this magnificent Victorian fort for future generations,” added Sean.

a computer drawing showing a museums mock-up of a militray hospital ward

The redevelopment proposal for Fort Nelson's in Sickness and in Health Gallery

Improvements will include a dramatic new entrance gallery, The Orienteur, displaying the collection’s most iconic cannon, including Saddam Hussein’s infamous Supergun. The transformed museum will also include a state-of-the-art education centre and facilities, featuring a new ‘classroom of the future’ and dedicated entrance.

For details of how to give, contact Ellie Matthews, Individual Giving Manager, at ellie.matthews@armouries.org or call 0113 220 1966. Alternatively, look out for the donation envelopes on your next trip to the Fort or visit www.fort-nelson-hlf-development.org.

To help with the transformation visitors to the Museum are also encouraged to register for gift aid, which sees the Armouries receive an extra 25p in every pound from HM Revenue and Customs, at no extra cost to the giver.

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