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Bentley Priory

From Erica Ferguson of bentleypriory.org:

I work with the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust, which was formed to safeguard Bentley Priory at the behest of the Battle of Britain Fighter Association. We have negotiated a deal with the MOD and the brokers that were contracted by the MOD to dispose of the site. This deal not only secures the main historic rooms on the ground floor, the lovely gardens and the gateguards for public access as a museum, but also secures a large endowment (£3M) towards the long term operational costs of running the museum for perpetuity. This should take away the risks of operating on a shoe string as happens with many worthwhile heritage venues. Sadly at the last minute the sale of the site fell through because of the recession. However, the deal is still in tact and the local authority, English Heritage and other stakeholders, are convinced that the deal we have is worth waiting for. Our Trustees are very bright and able and experts in their fields which range from planning law, operating museums to PR all at national respected level. Our Chair of Trustees is Sir Brian Burridge who is working really hard to ensure that the story of Bentley Priory is not lost. We now face at least a year struggling to keep the Priory open for public events with very little income. We are of course grateful that BP is kept in the public eye, but it would help us more if the petition had acknowledged the work the Trust has done so far and drew public attention to our work to help with our fundraising. Although planning gain will pay for the majority of the £13M project, we still need to raise £2.5M to install interpretive displays that will tell the story of the leadership, science and sheer courage that was BP during the Battle of Britain. Perhaps you could update your website with the information and include link to our website: www.bentleypriory.org. As a long term ‘groupie’ of IV Squadron (I used to sort out NVG flying from Leuchars for the Sqn and spent 5 weeks with both 3 and IV Sqn in Goia-del-Colle, I’d appreciate any publicity you could give our cause through the website. Many thanks Erica

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