Bristol mayor backs plans for Concorde museum at Filton
BRISTOL'S mayor George Ferguson has publicly backed plans to build a new aviation museum commemorating the city's industrial heritage at Filton.
In a letter to Iain Gray, chair of the Bristol Aero Collection Trust, the Mayor said it would be entirely fitting that the new museum be established at Filton airfield, where aircraft production first began in the city in 1910.
As reported in The Post the final Concorde to fly into Briatol has all but secured a new home after BAE, the landlords at Filton, promised £2.4 million towards a new museum.
The funding has been given to the Bristol Aero Collection Trust to boost plans for a £13 million Bristol Aerospace Centre on the northern fringe of Filton Airfield.
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Mr Ferguson said: "The Bristol Aeroplane Company was one of the first and most important British aviation companies and Bristol's links to the history of flight forms an integral part of the city's unique identity.
"It is a past well worth celebrating, and I am pleased to see the profile of Bristol's key role being raised through the establishment of an Aviation Museum, at a time when there is some very real concern at the loss of the airfield."
He added: "The Aerospace Centre will provide valuable learning, skills, training and employment opportunities for the city-region as well as provide a fitting home for Concorde 216, which stands as an iconic symbol of Bristol's world-class engineering heritage, together with Brunel's ss Great Britain and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
"Innovation and enterprise are particular features of Bristol's economy, with high business formation rates, world-class Universities active in knowledge transfer and spin-off businesses, and a creative industries sector promoting the development of ideas in all aspects of the city's life.
"In 2005 Bristol was named as one of six 'Science Cities' in England and was acknowledged by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum as a global 'innovation hub' in 2009. I see the proposed Aerospace Centre as a key legacy project and a welcome addition to this impressive track record."
BAE has announced it is working with the Trust to ensure the long-term conservation and display of Concorde 216, as well as an extensive collection of aerospace artifacts and archives at the new site.
Filton Airfield, which is seen by many as the birthplace of the UK's aviation industry, closed for good in December.
A £120 million deal as been agreed with a property development firm and diggers have already started ripping up the historic