DONCASTER’s tourism industry is set for a major boost after the unveiling of a permanent memorial to the last flying Vulcan bomber.
Delighted aircraft bosses have announced the iconic plane has moved into a new long-term home at Robin Hood Airport.
Visitors will be able to see the bomber up close for the first time when the dedicated facility opens its doors to members of the public next month.
Experts will guide aviation enthusiasts around the Vulcan, including the cockpit, in pre-booked tours.
The Vulcan to the Sky Trust, which owns the aircraft, wants Doncaster schoolchildren to visit the bomber as part of an educational outreach programme.
The trust is also aiming to attract business and hospitality events to the Vulcan’s new Hangar 3 home at the airport.
It is an poignant return for the 60-year-old aircraft which was previously based in the former RAF Finningley hangar when the site was a nuclear bomber base in the 1960s.
Long term plans aim to develop the facility into one of the region’s top tourist attractions with educational displays covering the XH558’s technology and restoration and the history of the Cold War.
Chris Dungworth, manager of Doncaster Council’s economic development arm Invest in Doncaster, said: “This is the beginning of another world-class attraction for Doncaster.
“It’s not just for tourism but also for education, engineering and hospitality.
“The fit is perfect and we are 100 per cent behind Vulcan to the Sky Trust and the airport to help them make it happen.”
The Vulcan arrived back in Doncaster in a huge fanfare earlier this year.
It was announced in March that it would use Robin Hood as its base for ﬂying around Britain to wow the crowds at summer airshows.
Now Vulcan to the Sky bosses are delighted to have sealed the long-term deal.
Dr Robert Pleming, chief executive of the trust, said: “This is one of the biggest steps for Vulcan XH558 since her return to flight.
“It brings a new era of opportunities that will help to fund her future and provide new levels of access for her supporters.
“These are early days in deciding exactly what facilities will be included.
“Developing the funding and detailed plans needed to turn our ideas into reality will take some time, but I am thrilled to be able to share our vision at this stage.”
But the aircraft, which was also an essential part of British fleet in the Falklands War, needs another £160,000 to fulﬁl a hectic schedule of upcoming air displays.
It costs £2 million every year to keep airborne and trust bosses said commercial income will increase substantially with the new home.
To book a tour visit the trust’s website www.vulcantothesky.org or call 0845 504 6558.