Nottinghamshire County Council is backing exciting plans by the Bomber County Gateway Trust to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force by constructing a huge Lancaster Bomber landmark next to the A46, between Newark and Lincoln.
The Council’s Policy Committee gave the go-ahead to contribute £10,000 towards the £100,000 project at its meeting today, on the 75th anniversary of the daring Dambusters mission during the Second World War.
The sculpture, located at Norton Disney, north of Newark will stand 30 metres (98 feet) high – 10 metres taller than the Angel of the North in Gateshead. It will depict an Avro Lancaster in flight and have a wingspan of 31 metres.
As well as honouring the RAF, and the 125,000 air crew of Bomber Command, which had numerous bases across the two counties during the Second World War, it’s anticipated that the sculpture could become a major tourist attraction in its own right, bringing significant economic benefits to the whole of Nottinghamshire.
Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council said that the new monument would be “an iconic landmark for the entire East Midlands region”.
Councillor Cutts said: “The Royal Air Force celebrates its centenary this year, which is an appropriate time to celebrate its numerous links with Nottinghamshire – including being the location for 15 military airfields during World War 2, home of ‘Dambusters’ composer, Eric Coates and Rolls Royce, where the engines that powered the Spitfire and Harrier Jump Jet were developed,
“The proposed Bomber Command memorial next to the A46, between Newark and Lincoln, is being brought forward by the Bomber County Gateway Trust and will be a stunning tribute to 125,000 Bomber Command aircrew who served our country, especially those 55,000 who were killed in action.
“As well as honouring the bravery of Bomber Command, I believe the memorial will be a significant landmark and major draw for visitors – providing spin-off economic and tourism benefits to businesses and attractions across Nottinghamshire, including the nearby Newark Air Museum. It will be an iconic landmark for the entire East Midlands region”.
Further information about military airfields in Nottinghamshire, monuments and other links to the RAF is available to download from the County Council’s Aviation in Nottinghamshire publication.
Vanessa Strange from the Bomber County Gateway Project, said: “The Trust is delighted to have Nottinghamshire County Council on board as part of the team delivering this wonderful installation. The sculpture will be a full size replica of a Lancaster Bomber, a plane integral to the history of both Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, so it is very fitting that the plane and all that it represents will become an iconic structure on the County boundary.
“Nottinghamshire County Council has been enormously supportive and their offer of support going forward is a huge step on our journey to help this project take flight.”
Councillor Sue Saddington, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, joined veterans of Bomber Command, including Squadron Leader George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, the only surviving member of the ‘Dambusters’ squadron, for a ground-breaking ceremony at Norton Disney yesterday. Images from the event: