Put up for sale with a price tag of over £1.5 million, Perranporth Airfield on the Cornish cliff, home to original Spitfire runways, hangars and bunkers, began a new battle in the fight for survival today with the launch of a crowd funding campaign.
The airfield was awarded National Heritage status in 2000 with two areas protected as Scheduled Monuments by English Heritage – but it remains at risk.
Perranporth is currently under threat of being sold off in parcels. The Spitfire Heritage Trust is campaigning to secure Perranporth airfield, keep it wholly intact, and bring it back to life as a viable airfield and a living museum for Spitfires.
“We are already almost half way to the £1,650,000 needed for an outright purchase. Our friends and supporters have risen to the challenge with pledges and loans. If we can raise the remainder the airfield will be saved and we can begin work on making it accessible to the public.
We are sure that the public will be as enthusiastic as we are to bring this Spitfire airfield back to life,” said chairman and co-founder David Spencer Evans. “We are asking them to get behind a crowd funding effort to save something of huge international value for heritage and relevant to us all. To find out more please visit our web site www.spitrireheritagetrust.com and click on the “support us” button.”
The airfield landscape survives virtually as it was during World War II, making it, visually, a uniquely valuable heritage site. It stands on cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean in an area of outstanding natural beauty with a glorious wildlife habitat and stunning coastal walks. A small flying club and flying school operates from the site used by the local community and is popular with visitors. These are also at risk.
Protected areas include very rare fighter pens, an underground battle headquarters and air-raid shelters along with pillboxes, anti-aircraft defences and the footings of associated buildings. The three and a half miles of perimeter track are also designated ‘scheduled’ along with intact fighter blast-pens. Although scheduled monuments they all need to be conserved and the story of the part they played in Britain’s history opened up.
“It’s necessary that we carry the Spitfire story forwards because the telling of stories (and myths) are the foundations of culture: the “glue” that binds societies together and connects us with our shared history. The Spitfire is entering the realm of folklore and is on the cusp of something new. So we plan to do something fresh, innovative and exciting with the airfield: not just preserve it,” said Ian Hewitt – Co Founder Spitfire Heritage Trust.
The Trust, a not for profit organisation, is run and managed by volunteers – historians, pilots, teachers and enthusiasts.
More details about the campaign and a link to our Facebook page can be found on www.spitfireheritagetrust.com
Contributing Source : Spitfire Heritage Trust