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East Midlands Chamber News

Focus Consultants and Purcell Architects Explore New RAF Scampton Visitor Attraction Centre

Focus Consultants and Purcell architects are exploring the possibility of enhancing visitor facilities at RAF Scampton with a new heritage attraction and centre of excellence.

The two companies have been appointed by Lincolnshire County Council to undertake a feasibility study for the RAF base near Lincoln, which recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Dambusters raid carried out by 617 Squadron from Scampton.

The base has a rich and significant history and is the home of the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team. It currently houses a small heritage centre run by volunteers but now the county council is looking at the possibility of boosting the visitor facilities.

Focus, which is based at Phoenix Business Park, Nottingham, with offices in Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, Holborn in London, and in Leicester, has been appointed as lead consultant for the feasibility study with Purcell providing design and architecture services. Purcell has 13 offices across the country and has recently set up a new base in Nottingham.

The study will look at whether an enhanced aviation heritage attraction and aviation centre of excellence can be created at RAF Scampton whilst it continues to be an important operational RAF base and fulfil its potential as a valuable cultural, historic and economic asset for the local area.

Heather Frecklington, senior consultant at Focus Consultants and the project manager for the feasibility study, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to undertake this exciting study and to be involved in shaping what could be a very prestigious and inspirational project.”

Alasdair Travers from Purcell added: “The historic base is still operational, acting as an air control centre, meteorological unit and home to the illustrious Red Arrows. It has many resonant stories bound up in its history including the pivotal role it played in the Dambuster raids and after the war when it was the base for one of the UK’s most important nuclear deterrents – the Blue Steel Missile. This feasibility project is a great opportunity to help shape its future.”

Work on the feasibility study has already started and will be completed by the end of September.

Focus Consultants has been involved in a wide range of museum, heritage and visitor attractions, and is currently project manager for a multi-million pound redevelopment at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. The company has also been appointed to the Victoria & Albert Museum framework to develop and deliver temporary exhibitions at the prestigious London museum.

Purcell has long-standing expertise working with culturally significant buildings and their sites. Past projects include Weston Park Museum, St George’s Hall in Liverpool and the multi award-winning Sammy Offer Wing at the National Maritime Museum in London.

The two companies are currently working together on the redevelopment of St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff.

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