CAMPAIGNERS were celebrating victory this week in their ten-year fight to get the historic core of the old Farnborough RAE preserved.

The Government has granted the highest grade of listed protection, grade 1, to the landmark 24-ft wind tunnel building, Q121, with its famous clock tower, and to the transonic wind tunnel.

The former HQ of Farnborough Air Sciences Trust, building R 52, the earliest wind tunnel building in the UK, has been given Grade II Listed status.

FAST has recently established its headquarters and part of its huge collection of aviation artefacts and archives in Trenchard House alongside Farnborough Road. This is the original Royal Engineers Balloon School that became the first HQ of the Royal Flying Corps in 1912. It is the first open to the public local heritage centre dedicated to Farnborough's aviation history and it now carries a Grade II listing.

When FAST was formed in 1993, there was no protection for any of the historic buildings and all faced demolition. Today, after much high level lobbying by SAVE Britain's Heritage, working closely with FAST, no other single aviation centre in the world has such a highly rated protected status.

FAST and SAVE said this week they looked forward to continuing their close relationships with Rushmoor Council and developers Slough Estates. SAVE has produced a study of how the site might be re-used using the maximum number of historic buildings.