Royal Marines to yomp into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as funding from Heritage Lottery Fund transforms the telling of naval story

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The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is delighted to announce support worth £13.85million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) with an award that will transform access to naval heritage and allow for the much-needed move of the Royal Marines Museum into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The project, entitled SeaMore, will create the country’s newest national museum collection in an innovative Centre for Discovery at the NMRN’s base in Portsmouth. Over two million artefacts, currently kept in 30 separate stores within 14 buildings across nine sites, will be relocated and made accessible to visitors in a bold move to revolutionise the way the epic story of the Royal Navy is told.

Many of these items, which include everything from unique documents, photographs, medals, paintings and archaeology are currently at risk in buildings and stores not fit for purpose. The Centre for Discovery will not only provide a safe haven for these collections but will be available daily to view and access in a way not previously possible.

Key to opening up the Museum to a much wider audience is the move of the Royal Marines Museum and its one million collection items from its current base at Eastney into Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, alongside internationally renowned attractions like HMS Victory and the Mary Rose.

The Royal Marines Museum will move into Boathouse 6, the Grade II Victorian boathouse that currently houses Action Stations to create dynamic galleries, activities and personal stories of the unique ethos of the Royal Marines 350-year history including the Corps’ music which has captivated audiences around the world. Until such time as Action Stations transfers to ownership of the Royal Marines Museum, investment will continue to ensure it delivers the best possible experience for visitors.

The museum will be a living memorial to the loyalty, duty and sacrifices of the Corps and very importantly entirely accessible to those who have been injured or incapacitated in the line of duty. It is due to open in 2019.

Sir Peter Luff, Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund said:
“We loved the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s plans to tell the very human story of the Royal Navy. It’s a compelling one of highs and lows, of triumphs and failures. The Centre for Discovery will provide a new, spacious venue to relate this narrative while the relocation of the Royal Marines Museum will give it a more prominent home and increased visitor numbers. Having already invested £55m in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, we are confident this latest award of National Lottery money will enable the dockyard to build on its reputation as one of the South East’s most popular heritage destinations.”

Professor Dominic Tweddle, Director General of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, warmly welcomed the announcement:
“This is an amazing achievement by the NMRN to boost the visitor offer substantially in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with a new museum that will not only increase numbers but give visitors a chance to find out and see so much more.

“The story of the Royal Marines, their unique ethos and remarkable history as an integral part of the Naval Service will be told to many more visitors. The Centre for Discovery will genuinely transform the way we can tell the story of the Royal Navy securing desperately lacking public access to the newest national collection. This will unite our collections which are dispersed and at risk across the country but most importantly, it will deepen and enrich our visitors’ experience of our collection. The Heritage Lottery Fund has had the vision and foresight to support this internationally important project for which we are very grateful. ”

The HLF grant also includes development funding of £548,726. The overall cost of the project is £17.5 million and The NMRN received a much-needed boost from the Treasury when the Rt Hon George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the 2015 Autumn Statement that the project would receive £2 million from the LIBOR support for military-related charities.
A fundraising appeal to raise an additional £2.5 million is underway and has already received generous support from the Royal Marines family and its charities. To find out more about the fundraising appeal, contact Paul Elgood at the appeals office on 02392 728 064 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A report into the Economic Impact Assessment of SeaMore by the University of Portsmouth estimates that the project will initially generate over £26 million into the regional economy and will increase visitor numbers into the Historic Dockyard by 7-8%. The site currently welcomes 750,000 every year and has published its aim to raise this to 1 million within the next ten years.


Inspirational young choir sing for new Lord Mayor

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Mayor Making Ceremony web

On Tuesday 17 May the city of Portsmouth said goodbye to one Lord Mayor and welcomed another, and Portsmouth Music Hub was there to be part of the prestigious Mayor Making Ceremony which took place at Portsmouth's Guildhall.

In front of dignitaries, council leaders and the new Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, the Music Hub brought together a hundred children from six local primary schools to sing My Time, written by Hub composer Iain Gilmour.

It was a moving experience for everyone as the song describes the apprehension, the exhilaration and the sense of achievement which comes from taking to the stage and performing successfully; and as the new Lord Mayor began his first day of official duties it seemed an appropriate song for the occasion, performed by enthusiastic young voices wishing him well.

Sue Beckett, CEO of Portsmouth Music Hub, who conducted the young choir, said: "The children were very excited to be part of the ceremony, and they gave an unforgettable performance of a beautiful song which captured everyone's heart and imagination. We were delighted to be there, because children and young people are so important to our city, they represent the future, and it was fitting to have them perform for the new Lord Mayor."


36 Hours: Jutland 1916 Exhibition [INTERVIEWS]

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Earlier this week Cheryl Buggy attended a preview of an exhibition that has been scheduled in the lead up to the centenary of the largest naval battle in history, the Battle of Jutland.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) will open a major exhibition to commemorate the Battle, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916. This will be the most comprehensive exhibition ever staged on the subject, and will highlight the essential role of the British Royal Navy in winning the First World War.

At the exhibition, Cheryl spoke to Matthew Sheldon, Director of Heritage for NMRN, and Jock McGrigor, son of Sir Rhoderick McGrigor who fought at Gallipoli, Jutland and in the Second World War.


Portsmouth is gearing up for a summer of cycling

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summer ride launch web

Whether you are complete beginner, getting back into cycling, wanting to cycle with your children or a serious cyclist looking for like-minded people, there will be a free local ride for you to join as Portsmouth City Council once again launches its summer programme of free guided rides in partnership with British Cycling.

Starting on Sunday 12 June a total of 15 Sky Ride Local rides will be held, which will see trained British Cycling ride leaders guide groups across various distances starting with an easy going three mile ride from Mountbatten to Cosham Park.

Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "We want to get more people interested in cycling in 2016 - whether it is watching the professionals in action at the Pearl Izumi Tour Series in Guildhall Square on Thursday 9 June, coming to the Pedal Portsmouth Family Festival of Cycling on Sunday 3 July, or by signing up to take part in our summer programme of free British Cycling rides.

"The guided rides are a perfect opportunity for families and individuals of all abilities to cycle varying distances, you can choose a ride to suit your comfort factor. I'm looking forward to seeing many more residents enjoying the city and beyond by bike."

This year the council are challenging residents to sign up for the final ride which is a 29 mile Portsmouth to Fishbourne Loop on Sunday 25 September.

A bit like a couch to 10k running programme, participants are encouraged to sign up for a number of Sky Ride Local rides throughout the summer gradually increasing the distance before taking on the final challenge, which starts and finishes at Portsmouth Watersports Centre.

In addition to the Sky Ride Local programme, there are a number of other opportunities to enjoy cycling in the city this year.

Portsmouth City Council will once again be running Pedal Portsmouth Family Festival of Cycling on Sunday 3 July. There will be a host of activities to enjoy including a fully accessible 3km traffic free cycle course.

British Cycling's women-only programme of guided rides, Breeze, continue to run throughout the year offering the chance to get fit, have fun and make friends. In addition, British Cycling host Britain’s biggest online cycling community, Ride Social. Register to join rides that are happening locally or set up your own rides. Please note these are not guided rides.

To find out more and register for a Sky Ride Local, Breeze or Ride Social ride visit

For more information about cycling in Portsmouth and the Pedal Portsmouth Family Festival of Cycling visit  or 'like' the Pedal Portsmouth Facebook page.

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