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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 10:48 GMT
Tank museum scoops 8.5m funding
Designs for the tank museum
The money will be used to revamp the display area
Backers of a military museum in line for a 15m redevelopment have been awarded a 8.5m lottery grant.

The money will go towards building a new display hall and preserving the hundreds of vehicles at the Tank Museum in Bovington, Dorset.

Fundraisers have already raised another 1.3m towards the final target and it is hoped the new-look museum will be up and running by March 2009.

The museum currently has 160 tanks on show but the rest are stored outside.

'Critical stage'

Museum bosses want to install better environmental controls to protect the tanks.

It is claimed the planned revamp will be the biggest redevelopment of a tourist attraction Dorset has seen and will see visitor numbers rise by 40,000 a year.

John Woodward, museum director, said: "We are delighted to have passed this critical stage.

"The development grant will enable us to improve the displays and help our visitors gain more enjoyment and knowledge from our globally unique collection."

The Heritage Lottery Fund has also set aside 393,500 to help develop plans for the state-of-the-art building.

Carole Souter, director of the Fund, said: "Our support will transform this highly popular museum and will further develop an appreciation of how war has shaped our world."

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