County’s attractions help economy soar

Part of the Bastion in the Air exhibition which came to Market Rasen in November EMN-191001-160240001
Part of the Bastion in the Air exhibition which came to Market Rasen in November EMN-191001-160240001

Almost 275,000 people visited the county’s aviation heritage attractions last year, generating over £4m for the local economy.

It is the highest number of visitors seen since Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire (AHL) began collating the figures in 2009.

Among the many success stories was the Bastion in the Air project which helped mark the RAF’s centenary.

Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project saw 14,000 people visit special exhibitions at RAF Scampton and The Collection Museum, with the complementary touring exhibitions, such as the one at Market Rasen Old Court Room in November, attracting a further 85,000 people.

In addition, a further 4,600 pupils took part in the ongoing Arts Council England-funded museums and schools project, meaning around 32,000 children have now benefitted from the initiative.

Dave Harrigan from Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire said: “Lincolnshire has a rich aviation heritage and we want to share those stories with as many people as possible.

“Last year’s success is a testament to all the hard work of those running the county’s many aviation heritage sites.

“With new sites opening in the near future, we’re confident that the sector will continue to grow over the coming years.”

Brought together in 2009, AHL is a unique partnership of county council, military, commercial and volunteer heritage centres and museums located around the county and promoting the great aviation heritage that Lincolnshire has to offer.

Iconic aircraft - including ‘Thumper’, one of only two airworthy Lancaster bombers in the world - continue at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby.

Another Lancaster - ‘Just Jane’ - keeps memories alive with her weekly taxi runs at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby.

The centre also enjoyed a number of highly successful events in 2018.

• To find out more about AHL, visit www.aviation