Museum is gunning to become hub for D-Day

Veterans pictured outside the D-Day Museum in 2013

Veterans pictured outside the D-Day Museum in 2013

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CITY leaders are hoping to turn the D-Day Museum into the UK’s leading resource for the Normandy landings.

The hope is to make the Southsea attraction the national teaching hub for the Allied invasion of Normandy during the Second World War.

In order for that to happen, Portsmouth City Council needs to land two major grants from The Heritage Lottery Fund.

The first is for £224,900 to help get the D-Day75 project off the ground, and the second is for £3.8m to build it further.

Details about what would happen are still in the early stages because money needs to be in place first.

Two applications for funding have already been turned down because they weren’t good enough – meaning the project couldn’t be completed in time for this year’s 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Another application for the first grant of £224,900 has now been submitted, and the council has pledged to put £350,000 towards the scheme, £100,000 more than previously agreed.

The council finds out next month if its bid is successful.

Jane Mee, museums and visitors services manager, said: ‘We want to do this project really well, and if it means saving it until the 75th anniversary of D-Day, then that is what we will do.

‘Our third application for funding has gone in, and I’m hoping our persistence will be rewarded. It’s a significantly improved bid.’

The museum, as part of its new bid, has highlighted some changes.

It is due to become an affiliate of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and a major art project inspired by the Overlord Embroidery, the centrepiece of the D-Day Museum, could be created in the future.

Councillor Lee Hunt, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: ‘It’s essential that we deliver this project.’

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