AN ambitious £13 million Concorde museum project in Filton has received the backing of British Airways.
The Bristol Aero Collection Trust was chosen by the firm as its preferred bidder to take over the lease of the plane currently grounded at Filton Airfield and display it in its proposed multi-million pound aeropsace centre.
In December last year former airfield owner BAE Systems announced it would donate nearly £2.5m to the trust to build a complex to exhibit the iconic aircraft as well as artifacts and archives of the region’s aviation history. The firm also pledged some land to the north of Filton Airfield for the museum.
The next stage for the trust was to receive confirmation from BA that it would hand over the jetliner.
A BA spokesman said: "British Airways has selected the Bristol Aero Collection Trust as its preferred bidder to take over the lease of Concorde Alpha Foxtrot/ 216. We are pleased that progress is being made in ensuring a permanent home for Concorde Alpha Foxtrot."
The news came as a blow to the Save Concorde Group (SCG), which had put forward a competing scheme for a more modest £2 million museum.
SCG submitted rival proposals to British Airways in 2011 following the trust's failed bid to secure funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The plans were for a steel hangar to be built near Cribbs Causeway to house the aircraft which has been without a home since it made its last flight from London Heathrow to Filton in November 2003.
Ben Lord, the chairman of the Save Concorde Group, said: "This is another sad day for Concorde and particularly for Alpha-Foxtrot. We maintain that our proposal is the only viable and cost effective one that would see Alpha-Foxtrot placed undercover in a short timeframe given the closure, and subsequent intended development to Filton Airfield."
The Trust was due to reapply for a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund this year after its bid for £3 million was turned down in 2011.
The Bristol Aero Collection Trust was not available for comment.