PAFMC pledges £40,000 towards Polish Bomber Squadron Centre.

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12 Dec PAFMC pledges £40,000 towards Polish Bomber Squadron Centre.

A new partnership agreement between the Polish Air Force Memorial Committee (PAFMC) and the RAF Ingham Heritage Group (RIHG) has been signed and supported with a £40,000 pledge from the PAFMC towards the restoration of airfield buildings to create a new Polish Bomber Squadron Centre.

The PAFMC and the RIHG have turned their long-standing mutual support into a formal partnership with the agreement signed by the Chairmen of the two organisations. The agreement recognises RIHG as the pre-eminent home of the Polish Air Force Bomber Squadrons, and also recognises the wider responsibility of the PAFMC for the overall history and commemoration of the Polish Air Force in Britain.

The current major development project at RAF Ingham is the restoration of the former airmen’s mess to create a new Main Exhibition Centre (MEC), which will preserve, celebrate and remember the Polish men and women who lived, worked and flew with the Polish Bomber Squadrons, alongside the RAF, during WW2. Included within the MEC will be the recovered hangar doors from RAF Swinderby, in front of which General Sikorski in July 1941 presented the Polish Air Force with its new Standard – smuggled out of occupied Wilno. The funding target to complete this globally unique project is £200,000. The RIHG have recently received a grant of £96,673 from the FCC Community Foundation, through the Landfills Community Fund. The PAFMC has now pledged £40,000 of match-funding, to encourage and secure support from other Polish and British organisations, companies and individuals.

The agreement is designed to support both bodies in

  • Promoting the history and heritage of the Polish Air Force in Britain during the Second World War.

  • Publicising the huge contribution made by Polish airmen and women, to the Allied war effort.

  • Acting as focal points, for enquiries involving the Polish Air Force in Britain during the Second World War.

  • Promoting Polish/British friendship and continued integration. Each organisation will have a non-executive role in the management of the other, and will make every effort to share information, events, memorabilia and resources, consistent with their responsibilities as independent registered charities.

Commenting on the signing, PAFMC Chairman Richard Kornicki said:

“Over the last 10 years the RIHG has shown extraordinary tenacity and hard work to secure the airfield site, create a memorial, and carry out the unglamorous groundworks and infrastructure needed. The work has been led by a team of local volunteers, working most weekends, and simultaneously raising funds and specialist support as needed. Their commitment deserves the highest admiration.

“I am delighted that the PAFMC has now been able to formalise its support with this agreement, and to make a significant financial contribution to the creation of the Main Exhibition Centre, which will ensure that the work of the Polish Bomber Squadrons gets fitting public recognition.”

RIHG Chairman Geoff Burton said:

“Since our inception in 2010, the PAFMC and its forerunner the Polish Air Force Association Charitable Trust have, from the outset, always supported, guided and believed in our dream, to create a spiritual home for the Polish Air Force Bomber Squadrons, here at RAF Ingham. Eleven years of hard work, blood, sweat and the occasional tear, have seen us now arrive on the cusp of realising our dream.

“I am absolutely delighted that the PAFMC and RIHG are now able to formalise our partnership, in order to preserve, celebrate and remember, the men and women of the Polish Air Force.”