BRISTOL'S Concorde is a step closer to getting a permanent home after BAE Systems donated £2.4m towards building an aviation museum at Filton Airfield.
The aerospace firm has pledged land on the northern edge of the airfield to the Bristol Aero Collection Trust for its £13 million Bristol Aerospace Centre project.
A BAE spokesperson said it would ensure the long-term conservation and display of Concorde 216.
Project director of the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, Lloyd Burnell said: "The Bristol Aerospace Centre will bring together Bristol’s important aviation heritage, which is currently in various collections, many inaccessible to the public. Of the British-built Concordes, only one is now located at its birthplace on Filton Airfield and it’s an exciting prospect that the museum could be able to provide a permanent home for Concorde.
"The centre will provide a fitting tribute to Bristol’s world-class aerospace industry, giving people the opportunity to learn about Bristol’s exceptional aviation heritage, and promote learning amongst the next generation of designers, innovators and engineers."
BAE Systems has pledged £2 million to the project, as well as £400,000 worth of design, construction consultancy and project management support funds. The trust is set to reapply to the Heritage Lottery Fund which rejected its bid for a £3 million grant in May.
Concorde had been without a home since it made its last flight from London Heathrow to Filton Airfield in November 2003. The trust had been looking to build a museum to display the iconic aircraft as well as the Bristol Aero Collection, which contains artifacts and archives of the region’s aviation history, ever since. Heritage Manager at BAE Systems and member of the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, Howard Mason said he hoped news of the funding would encourage further investment.
He said: "Our vision for the future of Filton Airfield is that it will become a national heritage destination as well as continuing as a global beacon for advanced aerospace design and manufacturing. We hope that our commitment will encourage other companies and the people of Bristol to put their full weight behind this project."