Weedon’s historic depot looks set to get a permanent visitor centre thanks to a Lottery grant.
The Royal Ordnance Depot in the village received a £66,300 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to support creating the centre.
Work is expected to begin on the new centre next month.
Michael Chittenden, the site’s owner said “The site is of national interest and part of Britain’s cultural heritage so we are delighted to have received the support of the HLF so we can revive and share some of the amazing history the site has to tell. The rejuvenation of historic buildings is crucial to the development of local economies and our aim with this project is to breathe new life back into the site and enhance the neighbourhood by creating new jobs and opportunities for local people.
“By putting Weedon Bec, firmly on the tourism map for anyone interested in Britain’s military heritage we further aim to boost the local economy.’’
The new visitors centre will focus on The Depot’s rich military history and will provide an exhibition of historic wartime artefacts, audio interviews and recordings from local people and a programme of regular talks and events.
There are also plans for a café in a double decker bus, patio area, an exhibition tent and even a green area for a chicken run and a herb garden for producing home grown produce.
The remaining structures and buildings of the depot once formed part of an extensive military complex purpose built in the early 19th century and located in the ‘Heart of the Country’ to protect the British Army’s supplies from the threat of conflict with Napoleon.
The depot featured in all of the major conflicts including WWI and WWII up until the 1960’s when it was decommissioned.
Ordnance Depot Ltd will work with volunteers and a new member of staff to interpret the site’s history and man the visitor centre ready for its official opening in early 2018.