THE future of the hovercraft museum at HMS Daedalus is looking good after trustees met Gosport’s MP to discuss its future.
The trustees of the museum at the former HMS Daedalus airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent, were concerned over what might happen with the new enterprise zone.
But they were encouraged by MP Caroline Dinenage to carry on with its plans for a permanent museum.
It comes after the recent bad weather that battered the area damaged its hangars.
Trustee Dave Tanner has been working on the business plan for the museum.
He said: ‘We’re trying to get a 150-year lease to open a permanent museum. They seem to be amenable with this.
‘This year we’re waiting for the repairs to be carried out to the hangars.
‘We’re hoping to employ a lot of local people, both volunteer and permanent, to run the museum.’
Mr Tanner said he hopes there will be 10 to 15 jobs at the museum to start with.
And he wants to open its vast archives to the Fareham College’s new Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Advanced Skills Training, which is due to open this year.
‘We’ll be going out to public subscription and lottery funding to restore some of our major assets,’ he added.
‘We’re getting near to the endgame where we will be able to open a museum, either later this year or early next.’
Currently anyone who wants to visit has to prearrange their visit.
But Mr Tanner and the other trustees plan to spend £50,000 to £70,000 to fence off the area from the airfield.
Trustee Warwick Jacobs hopes they will hold a hovercraft show in April to March.
He also said he wants schools to visit again.
He said: ‘We want school trips again and eventually become a permanent feature.
‘The whole site is gradually being developed. It’s part of a 10 year plan.’
Ms Dinenage added: ‘At the moment at Daedalus we’re completely focusing on the aviation side and we haven’t even started looking at the marine side in any depth.
‘They’re going to next Daedalus group meeting and they’re going to make sure everybody on the delivery group understands their plan.’