Council takes over Fairhaven Spitfire Memorial
The Spitfire Memorial at Fairhaven Lake is soaring into a new era with Fylde Council taking over its management and maintenance.
Its ownership has been passed on by the Lytham St Annes Spitfire Display Team, who established the full-sized replica of a Mark VB Spitfire aeroplane at the lakeside in 2012 and are now looking to devote more time and funds to their Spitfire Museum at Blackpool Airport.
“The intention was always for the memorial to be there for future generations and the council taking it over is a weight off our minds,” said John Coombes, the former Fylde Council leader who heads the Display Team.
“We’ll still be looking after the information boards but this change will allow us to devote more funds, which have been difficult to generate for the last 14 months, to the museum, due to reopen on May 18.”
Since it’s installation, the Spitfire Memorial, which was initially paid for by public subscription, has been a popular attraction at Fairhaven Lake, which is currently being upgraded with Heritage Lottery funding.
Last year, Mr Coombes advised the council that without sustainable funding there was a risk the Spitfire would need to be removed and as a result, a request was made to the council to take over the ownership.
The new agreement, approved by Fylde Council’s tourism and leisure committee, sets out that the council will take on ownership of the memorial at no cost, with it taking over management and maintenance of the memorial for a minimum period of 10 years.
The council has estimated that annual cost of its involvement will be around £2,000, although maintenance due every 15 years would require a relevant capital bid.
Paul Walker, Fylde’s director of development services, said: “The agreement by the tourism and leisure committee to take on the ownership and future management and maintenance of the Spitfire Memorial secures its future for at least the next 10 years.
“Fairhaven Lake provides a fitting backdrop to this popular and important attraction.”
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