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FAST Museum's accreditation safeguards aviation heritage

Farnborough's FAST museum has been awarded the highest level of national recognition as a fully-accredited museum

A museum in Farnborough has been awarded the highest level of national recognition as a fully-accredited museum.

The Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum (FAST), at Trenchard House in Farnborough Road, has been awarded the accreditation after three years’ preparation to meet the high standards set out under the national museums and galleries accreditation scheme, administered by the Arts Council.

The museum, which is now in its 10th year, was supported by Rushmoor Borough Council and Hampshire County Council in its application for accreditation.

Veronica Graham-Green, publicity manager for the museum, said: “The FAST trustees have made significant improvements in recent years at the museum, while at the same time carrying out major projects, including a new artefact storage building and the highly popular Cody Statue, which is now in full public view on Farnborough Road.”

Accreditation inspectors from the Arts Council, the national development agency for the arts in England, looked in great detail at how the FAST museum is managed, its viability, its educational programmes and its future plans.

Museums such as FAST, which is run entirely by volunteers, often do not receive accreditation on their first application attempt and have to achieve it in stages instead.

Richard Gardner, chairman of the FAST trustees, attended a presentation at the museum on Tuesday to celebrate its recent accreditation.

He said: “We are very proud of this new award, which will certainly help future development.

“It reflects the enormous effort that everyone has put in, week in and week out, to ensure Farnborough’s unique aviation heritage is safeguarded for the future.

“It couldn’t have been done without the enthusiastic encouragement of Rushmoor Borough Council along the way, as well as many friends, companies and organisations in the local community.”

The museum accreditation helps to raise awareness and understanding of museums and encourages partnerships with organisations. The accreditation also demonstrates that museums have met a national standard, strengthening any applications for funding and giving investors confidence in the organisation. FAST was founded in 1993 to preserve and promote Farnborough’s aviation heritage.

It was originally formed to save the main factory site at the airport from demolition and has continued to work towards making other historic buildings, including the wind tunnels, accessible to a wider public.

MP Sir Gerald Howarth said: “Many congratulations to the team at FAST on another hugely successful year. The unveiling in August of the magnificent statue of Cody was a major landmark in the FAST story, the statue itself is a great contribution to Farnborough’s aviation heritage.

“I wish FAST continuing success in the coming year."

 

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