To commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of World War One one of Montrose’s most popular attractions has been given an almost £80,000 boost.
Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre, which is built on the site of a former World War One airfield, has been awarded £79,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund for its First in France project.
The town’s air station was established by No. 2 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps and served as a base for pilots during the Great War.
On August 3, 1914, one of its officers, Lieutenant Harvey-Kelly, was the first RFC pilot to land in France, after departing from Montrose.
The centenary of the outbreak of World War One this year inspired Dr Daniel Paton, curator, to propose to the centre’s trustees an imaginative project to mark the lieutenant’s journey.
Members and volunteers of the heritage centre will erect a new building, construct a replica BE2a aircraft and put together a comprehensive exhibition, which will house the centre’s artefacts from the World War One No. 2 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.
Chairman of the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre Alan Doe said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has again supported the centre in its development.
“Over the last 10 years we have had three major grants, which have allowed us to house important artefacts and inform our visitors of the important contribution of RFC/RAF Montrose in both wars.”
He added: “Such support demonstrates the confidence the Heritage Lottery Fund has in our ability to manage large projects and is another tribute to the dedication and hard work of our trustees, members and volunteers.”
It is hoped that work on the structure will begin this year, costing £96,800 in total.
The building will be named after Lieutenant John Ross Robertson of the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry, attached to the RFC, who was killed in action in France in 1917.
The lieutenant had his first flight at Montrose earlier that year.
He was buried in France but a wooden cross from his grave site was donated to the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre.
Staff and volunteers at the centre are hoping to host a grand opening ceremony on August 3, once the work is completed