A MUSEUM has been handed a grant worth £2m to continue improving access to military heritage.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has confirmed its support for the next phase of the Tank Museum's redevelopment plan, which will include new workshops.

The Bovington-based attraction has received more than £14m of Heritage Lottery Support in the last decade, including the £2m which has just been announced.

Sir Peter Luff, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund, said: “The Tank Museum has been on a journey of redevelopment and conservation for the last 12 years. We’re proud to be continuing our support for this fine museum with a further £2m of funding to supporting the concluding part of its plans. 

"The museum has taken a specialist subject – military vehicles - and presented it in a way that makes it enjoyable and interesting to a wide range of visitors. It achieves brilliantly the aim at the very heart of our work – opening up heritage for all – and we are grateful to National Lottery players for making this possible.”

Museum director Richard Smith said: “The purpose of the ‘Conservation in Action’ programme is to address the long term, sustainable care of our unique fleet of vehicles and the development of new ways for the public to encounter them through original, imaginative approaches to interpretation.

“In short, we will transform our facilities, develop our skills, deepen our knowledge and widen the horizons of staff, visitors and all the people we work with.”

The new workshop will be significantly larger and better equipped than the existing facility. It will be situated adjacent to the Vehicle Conservation Centre which was built in 2013. Mr Smith said it will increase the amount of conservation work which can be done on the collection, which will allow the museum to host a new apprenticeship scheme to train the next generation of conservators and restorers.

The funding will support a research programme to build up the body of knowledge and develop best practice for the care of historic vehicles, which will be used to train future staff.

There are also plans to work more closely with local schools and universities, along with aims to reach new audiences through the use of digital media. 

Construction of the new workshop building is expected to start in September and be completed by May 2018.