Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is given £20,000 boost by defence firm BAE SystemsÂ

DEFENCE giant BAE Systems is pumping £20,000 into one of Portsmouth's military heritage sites as part of a new sponsorship deal.

Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, has welcomed the sponsorship deal by BAE Systems
Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, has welcomed the sponsorship deal by BAE Systems

The new arrangement will see the international firm offering cash support to The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

All the cash is being used to boost major public spectacles at the dockyard like Armed Forces Day, as well as supporting education and learning activities at the National Museum, which owns a number of the historic ships and museums at the city attraction..

The deal will form part of the BAE Systems' on-going commitment to support the development of science, technology, engineering and maths careers across the Solent region. It comes at a time of record visitor numbers at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

David Mitchard, managing director, BAE Systems maritime services, said: '˜We're extremely proud to support the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base and delighted to work even more closely with our neighbours at the National Museum, who do a wonderful job in keeping the unique heritage of this naval base alive in the historic dockyard. 

'˜We are committed to the city of Portsmouth and the historic dockyard is a wonderful city asset we are very pleased to support through this new collaboration.' 

Professor Dominic Tweddle, director general of the NMRN said: '˜This new strategic collaboration builds on a long relationship between the National Museum of the Royal Navy and BAE Systems at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Most recently this has seen the start of the installation of the ground-breaking support structure for HMS Victory, which secures the future of an icon of our nation's naval heritage.

'˜The collaboration will be focused in Portsmouth and enable the National Museum to develop our internationally significant collections and fleet of historic ships. This includes our new SeaMore project to transform the way we present naval heritage at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and develop a new Royal Marines Museum. We look forward to working with BAE Systems on these projects and with them to extend our community, learning and education reach.'

The National Museum's team at historic dockyard delivers more than 91,000 learning hours a year, involving around 1,000 schools and 42,000 language students.

As well as being the headquarters of the NMRN, the Historic Dockyard is also home to Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and First World War Gallipoli survivor, HMS M.33.

Across the water in Gosport, the National Museum operates the Royal Navy Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower which are both included in the Historic Dockyard 11 attraction ticket.

Next door to the Historic Dockyard, in Portsmouth Naval Base, BAE Systems maintains and upgrades more than half the Royal Navy ships, as well as being responsible for running the base itself