What is Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire?

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire (AHL) is a unique partnership promoting the extensive aviation experience that is to be found in the county. The partnership has its roots in a steering group initiated in 2004 by North Kesteven District Council (NKDC), which looked at how best to provide an integrated, cohesive marketing and branding approach to aviation heritage. Out of the study came the formation of the Lincolnshire Integrated Aviation Heritage Partnership (LIAHP) which incorporated Lincolnshire County Council, West and East Lindsey District Councils as well as NKDC, Visit Lincolnshire and Business Link, and a wide range of aviation heritage sites across the county.

A bid was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help develop the county’s aviation heritage, which included - amongst other things – the provision for a full-time worker to support the sites. This application was unsuccessful, but a second bid, this time for two posts, was approved in 2009.

After a very competitive recruiting process, Phil Bonner was recruited as the Aviation Development Officer (ADO) whilst Dave Harrigan was recruited as the Outreach and Learning Officer (OLO). They took up their appointments early in 2010, which coincided with LIAHP being re-named as Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire.

Their remit was to work with various key sites over the next 3 years, raising the profile of the aviation heritage product in the county, and promoting aviation within the schools and colleges. The sites are varied in their size and the range of exhibits they offer, as you can appreciate as you navigate around the website.

Though there was no direct funding awarded to individual sites, the grant pays for Phil and Dave to work full time on behalf of the sites. They work closely with other agencies such as Renaissance East Midlands to raise the standard within the county, as well as engaging in the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) and Places of Interest Quality Assurance Scheme (PIQAS).

Dave has worked closely with schools in the county to run a poetry competition on flight. The top poems were put together in a book and sold in aid of the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance. The NoseArt competition was completed in 2011and is still being exhibited around the County. The schools and youth competition for 2012 was 'Time Capsules' which involved researching aviation heritage in the local area.This was judged in October 2012 with 10 capsules won across the County which will then be buried. For more information please contact Dave Harrigan.

We celebrated the 70th anniversary of Sir Frank Whittle’s jet aircraft making its first flight at Cranwell on the 15 May 2011 and in December 2011 we commemorated John Magee the Pilot Poet who wrote High Flight with a lecture and service at Lincoln Cathedral.

2012 was Lincolnshire’s ‘Year of Aviation’ and we organised a whole series of events throughout the year covering a century of aviation.

In the New Year Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire begin another phase as the project is now going to be funded for another three year by Lincolnshire County Council.

If you want further details of Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire, and how we could help you, contact Dave Harrigan on 01522555591 or by email at or