Montrose Air Station museum lands £40,000 grant from national fund

© Neil WerninckArtist Peter Hill and MIke Samson have recently completed a 15 foot mural at the centre depicting the RAF and the badges of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) Montrose and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS).
Artist Peter Hill and MIke Samson have recently completed a 15 foot mural at the centre depicting the RAF and the badges of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) Montrose and Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS).

Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre is flying high after landing a £40,000 grant as part of a near half-million windfall for museums across Scotland.

The Angus attraction, on the site of what was the UK’s first operational military airfield, is one of a dozen projects across the country set to benefit from Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) funding and will use the cash to expand exhibition space at the historic facility.

Montrose Air Station while it was operational.

Fife and Perth will also receive museum development fund support and the five-figure boost is the latest step forward for the Angus attraction in a big year which began with closer collaboration being forged at national level with the Royal Air Force Museum.

Ron Morris of the Montrose centre said: “As we are the only museum in Scotland focused on the history and legacy of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in Scotland, this grant allows us to significantly expand our exhibition space to hold major exhibitions focused on the specific events that took place during both World Wars.

“It also allows us to spotlight the contribution that the training and development of pilots in the various air stations in Scotland had on the success of the RFC and RAF in the defence of our country at a critical time.”

“It also allows us to spotlight the contribution that the training and development of pilots in the various air stations in Scotland had on the success of the RFC and RAF in the defence of our country at a critical time,” he added.

RAF Montrose closed in 1952 having trained pilots from the Commonwealth and nations including the US and Russia.

The museum dates back to 1983 when a dedicated band of local enthusiasts took the first steps to ensuring that the history of the town’s air station would continue to be told to future generations and in 1992 the former watch office and ground was purchased.

At the beginning of this year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Royal Air Force Museum to allow the two centres to collaborate on programmes and shared learning opportunities, and the expanded exhibition space which the MGS grant will help create at Montrose should allow more collections to be taken on loan.

Montrose Air Station pictured in 1914.

MGS chief executive officer Lucy Casot said:“Museums are safe spaces that reflect the world we live in, so it is entirely appropriate that we should invest in ensuring they remain relevant in today’s diverse society and we particularly welcome the projects that are revisiting their collections to explore different perspectives and stories.”

The total MGS funding package also includes £45,471 grant for the British Golf Museum to develop its Fore! inclusivity project, with the St Andrews attraction aiming to commission a piece of external research of their current and potential audiences and from that create an audience development plan.

Culture Perth and Kinross has received £59,924 to introduce interactive digital engagement platforms and will be focusing on objects destined for display in the new Perth City Hall museum.

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