Cornwall Council to force closure of Aviation Heritage Centre

Lightning at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (Max Thrust Digital)
Lightning at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (Max Thrust Digital)

Cornwall Council has withdrawn support for the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (CAHC) forcing their closure and eviction from their site at next to RAF St Mawgan and Cornwall Airport Newquay, a site that is also set to become Spaceport Cornwall, home of Virgin Galactic.

In a statement on their Facebook page, CAHC said: “It is with heavy hearts and dismay that we can confirm that we are set to close permanently following Cornwall Council’s decision to no longer support our museum and therefore evict us from our site without viable alternatives being offered.

VC10 at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre
VC10 at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (Max Thrust Digital)

“The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre is a unique, highly successful, interactive aerospace visitor centre and education hub based at Cornwall Airport, near to the new Spaceport Cornwall.”

The centre is home to some iconic aircraft including many rare airframes such as a former Qinetiq BAC1-11 test aircraft (ZH763), Vickers VC10 K3 (ZA148) and English Electric Lightning F.53 (ZF580 / XR768) and has become one of the UK’s best museums of former UK military aircraft.

Its relaxed environment allows visitors to roam around that airframes at their leisure with knowledgable staff on hand for guidance.

Qinetiq BAC1-11 at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (Max Thrust Digital)
Qinetiq BAC1-11 at Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (Max Thrust Digital)

But this is all set to end in a few months as Cornwall Council have terminated CAHC’s lease on the site and given a deadline to vacate the site by 31st March 2023 which means that the centre Is unlikely to reopen after 31st October 2022. CAHC has been operating for 7 years.

The centre was one of many UK sites deemed important enough to get a cultural grant from the UK Government to help it survive the Coronavirus pandemic.

You can sign the petition to save CAHC here https://www.change.org/p/save-cornwall-aviation-heritage-centre

About Nick Harding 1708 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.

3 Comments

  1. Hmmm, whilst I see the benefit of the area being used by Virgin Intergalactic and the potential for more jobs and “wealth” for the County, couldn’t some consideration have been given to moving the Museum to somewhere else on what is a vast site. I’m not sure how much Richard Branson is involved in this venture as he could potentially influence some form of resolution and even encourage a far larger Museum of Flight by bringing more in more exhibits which could extend back to the origins of attempts of Human flight up to the current day.

  2. Levelling up Britain?
    Knee jerk reaction for total control of the site so no discussion on aviation heritage and for the Council ‘we win you lose’

  3. Same with them causing Loganair to have to give up their routes.
    All sounds like a money grab, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for it all.
    Branson should have donated some cash to help the museum.

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