Yorkshire's Vulcan bomber faces 'toughest battle yet' with just eight weeks left to hit fundraising target

An iconic aircraft could be facing its toughest battle yet after fundraisers said they had just weeks to hit a £2.2 million target.

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has until December 31 to raise the money needed to secure a mortgage and build a new hangar at Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) for Avro Vulcan XH558, the last aircraft of Britain’s V-Force and which ceased flying in 2015.

Michael Trotter, the trust’s business development director, said they now had a legal agreement with the airport to build the Vulcan Experience, but after working for years with DSA, the airport now needed to see progress.

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He said: “The airport acquired land to facilitate the new hangar three and a half years ago with a reasonable expectation that funding for a purpose-built hangar would follow soon thereafter. DSA has waited patiently for us to raise the money needed and provided a home for XH588 free of charge for over three years.

The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has until December 31 to raise the money needed to secure a mortgage and build a new hangar at Doncaster Sheffield Airport

"They’d like to see us have the money in place by the end of the year, and we fully understand that. They say if they don’t see any progress they’d have to reconsider the plans.”

The trust has raised £250,000 towards the £2.2m target, which would then allow them to get a mortgage on the outstanding £2.4m needed for the project, whch will now cost a total of £4.6m - costs of materials having risen sharply.

Half a million pounds raised under the phenomenally successful Names under the Wings campaign of 2019/20 are going towards the charity’s day to day running costs.

Mr Trotter said it “could be the toughest battle XH558 has faced yet” following the untimely death of Dr Robert Pleming earlier this year, who led the campaign to preserve the last of the Vulcans.

The new hangar - which includes a green technology hub aimed at students - will cost a total of £4.6m Picture James Hardisty

Mr Trotter has been talking to potential sponsors as well as politicians about the project, which aims to inspire youngsters to take up a career in engineering, and help tackle the challenges facing the world today.

The hangar will include the history of the aircraft as well as green technology hub aimed at students. Part of the curriculum at the University Technical College in Doncaster is already devoted to the Vulcan.

He said: “We are saving a national heritage asset and also hopefully changing the lives of young people in the region. Hopefully everyone in the region will pull together and help us. We fight on for Robert’s legacy - inspiring youngsters was his dream and the full driving force behind this.”

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Businesses can support via the Vulcan 558 Executive Alliance – a membership group open to businesses from across the UK. Any company that joins the Executive Alliance will, in return for sponsorship, receive a package of benefits including having their name displayed on a dedicated members’ wall in the new hangar. https://vulcantothesky.org/executive-alliance/

For further information visit www.vulcantothesky.org.uk