A CONSERVATION group's dream to turn historic aircraft hangars into a tourist attraction has been cleared for take-off.
The owner of three listed First World War hangars at Hooton Park has announced its bid for Heritage Lottery cash to fund groundwork in the renovation scheme has been successful.
It has secured grants totalling £46,000 from the Lottery and English Heritage to pay for a full management plan and audience research.
Hooton Park was built in 1917 as a training station for Royal Flying Corps pilots and during the Second World War became home to the RAF's 610 (County of Chester) Squadron. The site was saved from demolition five years ago and Hooton Park Trust became its owner.
Steve McGovern, project manager for the Trust, said: 'At last we can start to develop a scheme that will breathe new life into our listed hangars.'
Chairman Janice Farquharson said: 'The grant will be used to pay for consultants who will gather evidence to back up a later bid, which will be aimed at delivering a viable visitor attraction.'
Heritage Lottery Fund's regional manager Tony Jones said: 'The money will help the Trust embark on the planning and preparations that are vital for a full-scale restoration project.'
To celebrate, 88 balloons - representing the age of the hangars - will be released from the site on Saturday after a reception for groups involved in the project.