Progress towards Moray’s first centre focussing on the aviation history of the region looks set for a major advance with a former primary school at Kinloss earmarked as a temporary base.
Morayvia was formed three years ago on the back of the ending of operations for the RAF’s Nimrod fleet of maritime patrol aircraft and subsequent handing over of RAF Kinloss to the Army.
The first major task for the group was to take ownership of the last remaining Nimrod at the Moray base – XV244 – with the long term aim of it becoming the centrepiece of a new Aviation Heritage Centre.
Now Morayvia’s Chief Executive Officer, Stan Barber, has revealed that the group are making good progress towards securing a temporary base for a new Heritage Centre.
Mr Barber said: “We always knew that it was going to be difficult to raise funds but we have made progress – we are now looking at a temporary centre. Having said temporary, we can expect to be there for ten years as an absolute minimum.
“We have identified a former primary school at Kinloss and we are now in the final stages of the community asset transfer process with Moray Council.
“That is the most difficult stage – we have taken a short-term lease on the building because it has not been looked after for a while. So our volunteers are looking to stabilise it and then make plans on how to open some kind of interactive centre.
“It will be based on science and technology, looking at education as well. So we are pleased to say that while we have been working hard for some years we are making quite a bit of progress.”
Since securing the purchase of XV244 the group has added a few more exhibits to their collection – including one of the iconic ‘Green Goddess’ fire engines.
Mr Barber added: “We have the complete Nimrod at Kinloss Barracks in storage at present and that is one of our greatest assets.
“The other things we have is the portable section of a Nimrod that has been on display at many events around Moray and much wider.
“We also have our Jet Provost cockpit and a Vampire cockpit – and perhaps unusually we have recently taken on a Green Goddess which is currently undergoing refurbishment before it goes on display – that will be another great interactive exhibit.”