TWO years ago it was facing closure, but now it has been given a seal of approval.
The Explosion! Museum of Naval Firepower at Priddy’s Hard in Gosport has been accredited by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
The award recognises the efforts of the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust in turning round the site since it took over in 2009.
Nick Hewitt, the head of attractions and collections at the museum, said: ‘We’re thrilled because it’s a real credit to our team and our volunteers who all work so hard. It’s been a challenging time.
‘There’s been a question mark hanging over the museum for some time until the trust took it over.
‘It’s a big morale boost for all of us who work here.
‘It’s a stamp of approval and appreciation from our peers.
‘It opens doors to funding sources that were once closed to us.
‘We weren’t expecting to be accredited until November. It was the trust’s willingness to invest in us that helped us get it so quickly.’
The accreditation comes as a result of improvements made at the museum in the past two years.
It has forged links with schools in the area and is developing an education programme.
Accreditation by the MLA also recognises the way in which the museum looks after its artefacts and the attractions offered to visitors.
The chief executive of the Property Trust Peter Goodship said: ‘The trust is delighted to have reached this gold standard so soon after taking ownership and management of the museum.
‘We have completed in record time a process which often takes several years.
‘It is testament to the incredible effort of staff, volunteers, and trust staff.’
The trust recently introduced a waterbus connecting Priddy’s Hard with the nearby Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gunwharf Quays and the Historic Dockyard during the tourist season.
This weekend the museum will be transported back to the 1940s for a nostalgic series of events.
Military vehicles will be on display along with wartime film shows and a demonstration by naval gunners.