Will closure result in the loss of the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre?

The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre is to close its doors from October 31, 2022 after the Cornwall Council pulls its support…

In the past few hours it has been announced that the Newquay, Cornwall-based Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (CAHC) is to close its doors from October 31, 2022. In a statement  that has now taken social media and various aviation forums by storm CAHC’s management said: “It is with heavy hearts and dismay that we can confirm that we are set to close permanently following Cornwall Council's decision to no longer support our museum and therefore evict us from our site without viable alternatives being offered. The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre is a unique, highly successful, interactive aerospace visitor centre and education hub based at Cornwall Airport, near to the new Spaceport Cornwall. CAHC was created by local people, is privately funded, pays commercial rents to Cornwall Council and is becoming nationally recognised as an aerospace site of excellence, yet Cornwall Council have failed to recognise the cultural & heritage value of our museum.”

More details below. 

• The Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre (‘CAHC’) is a unique, popular, growing, tourism, heritage and education centre.

• Situated at Cornwall Airport near to the new Spaceport project, it is locally owned and operates with no support from Cornwall Council who, as owners of Cornwall Airport, are its landlords.

• For 7 years CAHC’s owners, staff and volunteers have worked night and day to create something truly unique and very special for Cornwall. The result is an award-winning, top-rated visitor destination and major aerospace/STEM education centre with industry and education collaborations within and outside Cornwall.

• Cornwall Council have terminated CAHC’s lease and given a deadline to vacate the site by 31/3/23.

• With 20+ airframes of all sizes and thousands of exhibits, suitable alternative locations are few and need to be at or adjacent to Cornwall Airport and costs of relocation would cost hundreds of thousands.

• Cornwall Council committed to assist CAHC to relocate their operation but have since refused to make good on these commitments. For more than 10 months the Council have refused to even discuss relocation proposals and funding sources.

• With no options for relocation and with Cornwall Council refusing to help, the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, the only aerospace museum in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset will have to close forever.

• All of this amazing amenity and opportunity will be lost. Jobs will be destroyed. Valuable and historic aircraft of all sizes will have to be scrapped because of the prohibitive cost of road transport. The opportunity to inspire and educate Cornwall’s future generations will be lost. 60 dedicated veteran and retired volunteers will lose avital part of their lives.

• Cornwall Council should be welcoming this unparalleled opportunity for Cornwall and, as a crucial part of the Levelling Up agenda, the Council should be encouraging and nurturing the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre in its bid to provide the County with a National quality aerospace destination and centre for learning – at no cost to the County. Instead Cornwall Council is destroying it.

In a final comment, the statement added: “Thank you for taking the time to read this news. We are all devastated, but we will still work to find a solution or, if not successful, to find ways to preserve the aircraft and exhibits.”