Doncaster Vulcan bomber hangar plan dashed after £2.2m fundraising deadline missed

The charity which looks after Doncaster’s Vulcan bomber has announced with a "heavy heart" that it has been unable to meet its £2.2m fundraising target - dashing hopes of having its own hangar at Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

By Darren Burke
Monday, 7th February 2022, 6:09 am

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust raised £250,000 after announcing in November that it had just eight weeks left to raise the money needed to secure a mortgage and build the new hangar.

That brought the total raised to around £500,000 but still far short of the £2.2m needed to secure the mortgage for the £4.6m Vulcan Experience, which was earmarked for a piece of land close to where the Avro Vulcan XH558 is parked.

Michael Trotter, the trust’s business development director, said the airport had been "more than patient" keeping the land available.

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Doncaster's famed Vulcan bomber.

The Vulcan will be able to stay in its current spot for the forseeable future and they will run their normal programme of events as well as their education outreach work.

He said: "When we failed to meet the target at the end of last year we then had meetings with the airport. We had many discussions.

"They bought that piece of land back in 2018 (for the Vulcan Experience) and they have had no return on that investment. It will go back into the pot and I expect it will go on the market.

"If we'd been within a few percentage of the target this would have been a different story, but we weren't anywhere near enough to start building.

"In the short to medium term we will carry on doing (what we do now). We have a duty to look after the airplane."

The sad news comes exactly a year after the death of Dr Robert Pleming, who led the campaign to preserve the last of the Vulcans.

Mr Trotter said the £250,000 which was raised in eight weeks following the appeal was "almost entirely from members of the public", adding: "As ever they have stood by the airplane."

He said they would be in touch with all those who had donated money shortly.

He went on: "It's a massive disappointment which has come in the week that is the anniversary of Robert's death. We are all struggling a bit.

"The board have got to take time now to think about what the future holds for the project.

"As soon as the board have had time to consider what future holds we will go out and let the world know."

The airport had given XH588 a bay free of charge for more than four years and although stood outside was in very good shape, having been maintained as a live aircraft by a team of volunteers led by the chief engineer.

He said: “We are currently considering the implications for donors of being unable to complete the fundraising campaign and we will be in touch with all those who have donated

shortly. You will appreciate that this is a difficult time, and we will update donors further as soon as we are able.”

“We are obviously devastated to not be in a position to build the visitor attraction we dreamed of.”