Delight as revamped Portsmouth museum smashes £179,000 cash target in styleÂ

THE £5m revamp of a Portsmouth museum has proved a solid investment with more than £200,000 generated within just five months.

D-Day veterans
D-Day veterans

Since its re-opening at the end of March this year The D-Day Story on Southsea seafront has welcomed more than 43,000 visitors and made £202,901 from admissions, retail and catering.

The cash generated was significantly more than an expected £179,000, while the target to sell 667 annual passes was also surpassed to 731.

For Dr Jane Mee, head of museums at Portsmouth City Council and programme lead for The D-Day Story, the numbers indicated a strong future for the museum.

She said: 'We're delighted with the number of visitors we've had so far to The D-Day Story and the response to the newly opened exhibition has been overwhelmingly positive.

'The D-Day Story and Normandy Memorial Wall will be a focal point for 75th anniversary commemorations and the potential installation of the landing craft next year will further build on the museum's international reputation for telling The D-Day Story.'

The figures were revealed in a report on the museum's progress to be heard at a council culture, leisure and sport meeting next Friday.

Increased management and maintenance costs for the museum were also noted in the report as costing the council £30,000 a year for the next five years, a total for £150,000.

Other costs of the museum were met by a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant and the Portsmouth D-Day Museum Trust.

These costs are separate from the £5.6m needed to install the historic LCT 7074 at the museum in the future. Although the council has granted permission for the only surviving D-Day landing craft tank to become part of The D-Day Story, funds from the HLF have not yet been confirmed. 

£84,000 for this project has been covered by Portsmouth City Council and a bid for £4.5m from the HLF is currently being considered.

The remainder of the funds will be raised by the project's lead, The National Museum of the Royal Navy. 

All the details of the report will be discussed at Friday's culture, leisure and sport meeting.