THE push is on to secure the last major slice of funding needed to bring to life plans to transform the D-Day Museum into a centre of excellence.
City leaders are seeking to make up a £170,000 shortfall in the £4.9m project to regenerate the Southsea attraction, in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019.
We are almost there, and with such a small amount left to raise up to the £4.9m, I am confident we will raise the last bit required to start the regeneration and re-building of one of the most important museums in the UK.Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council
The hope is to create an ‘international museum’ that will tell the story of D-Day fit for the 21st century.
The Heritage Lottery Fund, a pot of cash set aside by chancellor George Osborne and the city council has covered the bulk of costs.
But £170,000 is still needed – and one of the key ways the last bit of money will be raised is through the sale of an album of songs retelling the Normandy landings and the events leading up to the allied invasion.
Though album sales alone won’t be enough, and the public is being called upon to donate to ensure the plans become a reality.
The Heroes’ Tide – D-Day 75 Choral Tributes album features 13 choirs from across Portsmouth interpreting a range of moving pieces, such as You’ll Never Walk Alone and We’ll Meet Again.
The album also includes Heroes’ Tide by Royal Marine Musician James Dunlop, an atmospheric piece composed as a tribute to D-Day veterans.
Choir member Linda Taylor, who was a key part of the album project, said: ‘I sing in a choir and wanted to do something to help raise money for the D-Day Museum, so this seemed like the perfect approach.
‘The whole process has been really enjoyable and I hope people enjoy the music we’ve created.
‘We’re grateful for the many donations that we have already received from the public.’
Should the upgrade go ahead, a ‘legacy gallery’ would be created to tell visitors the story of how the museum’s 83m Overlord Embroidery was made.
And more of D-Day’s impressive collection associated with the Second World War would also be used to tell the D-Day story in a more imaginative way.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the city council, was influential in getting chancellor George Osborne to commit £600,000 from a fund set aside for military causes.
She said: ‘So much has been achieved already by the culture and leisure team at the council in achieving successful bids, from lottery organisations and private organisations, such as Victorious Festival.
‘We’re almost there, and with such a small amount left to raise up to the £4.9m, I’m confident we will raise the last bit required to start the regeneration and rebuilding of one of the most important museums in the UK.’
The album is available to download at £7.99 from either Apple Music or iTunes, and tracks cost 79p each.
People can give online through the D-Day Museum website or by texting DDAY 44 and the amount they want to give - either £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.
Cheques can also be made payable to The Portsmouth D-Day Museum Trust or by putting a donation into the donation box at the museum.