New images of the stunning £6m Spitfire gallery at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery have been revealed – as the planning application for the development is submitted.
They show how Stoke-on-Trent’s Spitfire will take pride of place in a newly-built extension at the city centre attraction. The gallery would have large glass panels at the front and back, making the iconic plane – based on Reginald Mitchell’s famous design – visible to the outside world.
The extension would be two-storeys tall, with the Spitfire and associated exhibition material on the ground floor. It would connect to a refurbished museum café, which will have views into the Spitfire gallery. The first floor would feature a viewing platform to look down on the Spitfire from above, and additional room for other museum exhibitions.
Conservative & Independent run Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which is delivering the project as part of its capital programme of investments across the city, is hoping to start building work in March 2019, subject to the scheme gaining planning approval. It could open to the public in spring 2020.
The Spitfire was painstakingly removed piece-by-piece from the museum in January and taken to Medway Aircraft Preservation Society, in Kent, where it is currently being restored to its former glory by a team of experts. Once complete, it will return to the museum as the star of its new attraction.
Conservative Cllr Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, transport and heritage, said: “This development would play a big part in the ongoing regeneration of the city, and our investments across the six towns. It will become one of the city’s top attractions, and really add to our existing cultural and tourism offer. Along with the demolition of the old bus station, restoring Tunstall and Longton Town Halls and the work at the former Spode site, this is a really exciting time for our city.”
Conservative Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Defence, Gavin Williamson, visited the museum today to see the inspiring For the Fallen exhibition. While at the museum, he was also shown plans for the new Spitfire Gallery. He said: “I think it’s incredibly exciting. The new gallery won’t just inspire people to think of the glories of the past, but inspire them – especially youngsters – to be part of the glories of the future.”
Plans for the new Spitfire gallery will now go on display to the public inside the museum.