Developing major new exhibitions and interpretation alongside finalising major museum projects are at the heart of the investment. It follows the news of a record breaking year for visitor numbers and economic impact figures that state that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which is managed by the National Museum, brings £110million p.a. for Portsmouth.
The plans were unveiled on the eve of a public consultation about the final resting place for the National Museum’s Landing Craft Tank LCT 7074 at the D-Day Story, Southsea. The £5million project secures the long term future of the sole surviving landing craft from D-Day.
Nearly £100,000 has been invested in three exhibitions this year. Silent and Secret at Gosport’s Royal Navy Submarine Museum will focus on the 50th anniversary of the Royal Navy’s first Polaris nuclear ballistic missile submarine.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is also hosting a major new temporary exhibition for 2018; Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed. The exhibition offers a genuinely ground-breaking and comprehensive history of British tattooing.
Opening in March is Shipyard by Lachlan Goudie. For the last seven years, renowned Scottish artist Lachlan Goudie, who was a contributor on BBC’s Big Painting Challenge, has been sketching and painting in the BAE shipyards on the Clyde and Forth capturing aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and the newest destroyers.
Also announced is a major new £1million permanent gallery on Coastal Forces, the Spitfires of the Sea, which will open in 2019 at Gosport’s Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower.
Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy said: “When the National Museum was established in 2009 we knew that we could be a great stimulus for growth and for broadening the story of the Royal Navy. What we are achieving in Portsmouth is being replicated at our other sites in Belfast, Hartlepool and Yeovilton and bodes well for the future.”
Over the next two years:
- The visitor experience on site will be boosted by a brand new Royal Marines Museum and the creation of the country’s newest national museum collection in the newly-named Storyhouse 12: The Navy Unlocked. Over two million artefacts, currently kept in 30 separate stores within 14 buildings across nine sites, will be relocated and made accessible to visitors in a bold move to revolutionise the way the epic story of the Royal Navy is told. Both projects have received funding totalling £18million from the National Lottery
- Work is underway on the £3 million to re-support of HMS Victory, part of the ship’s larger £35 million, 15-year conservation project. Awarded to BAE Systems, this ambitious engineering feat is seeing 134 props installed to arrest the movement of the ship’s hull within the dry dock where she has been since 1922
- National Lottery support of £2.6million has enabled the restoration of the bulwarks on HMS Warrior 1860, the newest addition to the National Museum’s historic fleet. This is due to be completed this year. These restoration works are part of a wider project called HMS Warrior 1860: Revealing the Secrets of Shipwrights and Sailors will allow for the digitisation of the archival collections and enhance the visitor experience to the ship with exciting new interpretation.