Monday 26 February 2024
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New facilities including classroom planned at Flight Test Museum

A new visitor centre and a new classroom could be built on part of a Hucknall museum used to celebrate engine and flight tests at the Rolls-Royce site.

New plans have been submitted to Ashfield District Council for a modular building to house the classroom, a document archive and an office.

Toilets and a visitor reception are also proposed at the new building, which would connect with the nearly 40-year-old Hucknall Flight Test Museum.

The museum, set up in 1984, is described as an “internationally significant” aviation hub based inside an old 1944 Wing Hanger.

But documents say its site has been “subject to significant constraints” in the past which had made access difficult and it has been closed for three years since the Covid pandemic arrived.

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These issues, which have now been resolved, have allowed museum volunteers to rebuild interest in the site ahead of a planned reopening.

Now it wants to expand the centre to offer education facilities for local schools and walk-in sessions for the public.

Papers confirm a new building is required to deliver the facilities as part of the first phase of a wider £1.8m project.

The extra facility is described as a “critical additional business space” for the museum to open as extra interest – including from the University of Nottingham – comes forward.

In planning papers, the applicant said: “[It will] act as an educational visitor space and knowledge store, accessible to all, targeted at aviation specialists, engineering students and enthusiasts and the general public.

“[It will have] a strong emphasis on science, technology, maths and engineering (STEM) teaching for Nottinghamshire-based schools and academies.

“Approximately 65 per cent of the main flexible space within the modular building will be assigned as a pop-up classroom for teachers and volunteers to deliver out-of-school lectures and workshops.

“It is intended the space will also become a small community hub, developing local involvement and pride in the history of modern jet-powered flight and its development at the Hucknall site.”

Papers add the new building will be 19.2 metres long and 9.6 metres wide, with a flat roof at a height of three metres.

It will be based near the Wing Hangar, which was constructed specifically for testing engines.

“The building contains a number of features which provide significant evidence of the processes involved in engine tests,” the applicant said.

“The setting of the Wing Hangar is influenced by the historic interest of the Rolls-Royce site and significant advances made in the development of aviation engines.

“The proposed modular building will be located approximately 50m southwest of the Wing Hangar buildings and will stand on the concrete pad of the now-demolished 1960s Rolls-Royce office block.

“The modular building and associated facilities are required to support the re-opening of the museum, which secures the future viable use of the heritage asset as an important community facility.”

The planning application, lodged to Ashfield Council on Monday (August 7), will be discussed at a later date.

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