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First World War historic hangar restoration in Ellesmere Port wins £50,000 funding

One of the most at risk heritage sites in the country gets a welcome boost

One of the historic world war one hangars at Hooton Park(Image: Historic England)

A major restoration project has had a welcome £50,000 grant.

The Hooton Park Hangar restoration has received the funding from the national FCC Heritage Fund provided by grant-giving body WREN.

The award means plans to complete the restoration of one of three historic hangars at the former RAF Hooton Park airfield are a step closer.

Urgent roof repairs to the 98-year-old hangar, known as ‘Building 18’, are now expected to get under way later this month following the grant.

Jonathan Howard, director of the Hooton Park Trust, says the six-month project will provide the finishing touches to a wider restoration scheme that has been ongoing since 2010.

He said: “We are extremely grateful to WREN for helping us once more to take a sizeable step towards finishing the job we started five years ago.

“It’s a privilege to have such an historic site on our doorstep and this money will allow us to preserve that heritage for many years to come.”

Building 18 is one of three surviving aircraft hangars built on the site in 1917 to train pilots of the Royal Flying Corps, the precursor to today’s Royal Air Force, for the rigours of the First World War.

WREN previously provided funding for the restoration of the middle of the three hangars, known as ‘Building 17’, whilst the restoration of the third, ‘Building 16’ is said to be very much a long-term project.

Peter Moralee, WREN’s grant manager for the FCC Heritage Fund, said: “We are delighted to be funding such a worthwhile project and helping to safeguard the future of what is one of the country’s most at risk heritage sites.

“FCC Environment and WREN are dedicated to preserving the past for the benefit of generations to come.”

What needs repairing?

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

The FCC Heritage Fund covers the repair, maintenance or restoration of a building or structure of historic or architectural importance.

Hooton Park is one of 26 projects awarded a grant from the fund this year, with more than £4.7m awarded to 95 projects since the fund was launched in 2010.

Projects which could benefit from the fund must be recommended to WREN by one of its three partner organisations which include Historic England.

The Hooton Park Trust was formed in 2000 to oversee and manage the restoration of the remaining WW1 hangars on the former RAF airfield.

What do you think of the hangar grant? Have you visited it? Let us know in the comments below

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