A MEMBER of the House of Lords has given a Portsmouth museum’s plans to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day this year the thumbs up.
Lord John Astor, the government’s defence spokesman in the Lords, took a tour of the D-Day Museum, along the city’s seafront yesterday.
He was impressed to hear that the venue will hold a two-day conference from May 10 to 11 where guest speakers will come and talk about the Normandy landings.
Lord Astor, also a parliamentary under secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence, learnt of the museum’s bid to become the national teaching hub on D-Day in time for the 75th commemoration in 2019.
As reported in The News, Portsmouth City Council, which runs the museum, needs to land two major grants from The Heritage Lottery Fund to make the D-Day75 project happen.
The first one is for £224,900, and the second is for £3.8m.
Talking to The News, the Conservative official said: ‘The museum is impressive and it has got ambitions to go to the lottery fund.
‘It’s important the British public understand the role Portsmouth played in the preparations for D-Day and the fact General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery were here.
‘We have got to put that word out.’
Earlier in the day, Lord Astor went with Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt to see one of three Khareef class corvette warships to be built for the navy.
He said he had spoken to officials from BAE Systems the day before who confirmed some of the workers affected by its decision to move its shipbuilding division to Scotland had found new jobs within the business.
‘BAE is doing a lot of hard work to try and find jobs for the workforce,’ he said.
Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said he hoped Lord Astor would make a case to government that it needs to back the museum’s plans.
‘Lord Astor was hugely impressed with the museum’s Overlord Embroidery,’ he said.
‘Hopefully he will put in a good word for our D-Day bid.’