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Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Military museum plans unveiled
Tank
One of the tanks that would go on display
Plans are under way to build a multi-million pound military museum in northern Cornwall.

Devon-based developers the Phoenix Foundation say they have now found a site on which to build a home for their collection of more than 200,000 items.

Foundation president Gail Lavigne says the agreement with the owners of an airfield at Perranporth on the northern coast means work can start on a feasibility study.

"I like to think this is going to be the best military museum in the world," she said.

Perranporth Airfield
Planning permission is still needed for the museum site

The agreement over the site marks an important stage in a three-year mission on the part of the foundation.

The proposals unveiled on Thursday are for an 80,000 square-feet building costing 70 to 80 million - to be built underground.

"The last thing we want to do is turn the landscape into an eyesore," said Miss Lavigne.

The museum is designed to house military memorabilia collected by the non-profit foundation over the past nine years, ranging from Russian aircraft to North Korean medals.

The foundation has also been offered a loan of a major collection from a museum in St Petersburg, Russia.

Despite their success in tracking down rare items, Miss Lavigne described the members of the Phoenix Foundation as "enthusiasts and historians".

Tourist attraction

The Foundation has now employed outside experts to undertake an eight-week feasibility study.

The next step will be to seek planning permission and further cash for the proposals.

And Miss Lavigne is certain the end result would be a boost for Cornwall.

She estimates it will create 350 new jobs, and attract visitors to the region.

"I think people love to see these things," she said.

"Wartime brings out the best and the worst in people.

"It may sound strange, but a lot of people are nostalgic for wartime - it brings people together."




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See also:

19 Mar 02 | England
30 Oct 01 | Entertainment
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