Command of the Oceans
An exciting new project that will deliver a major new gallery telling the story of Chatham Dockyard during the Age of Sail, preserve and interpret the Namur - a unique archaeological assemblage of ships timbers and provide a new visitor entrance & sense of arrival to The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
August 2012 - May 2015
Charity information: Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust
The preservation and interpretation of a unique archaeological assemblage of ship's timbers is the focus of this fundraising campaign. The timbers make up 25% of the hull frame of the 2nd Rate NAMUR described by archaeologists as "the single most important warship discovery in Northern Europe since that of the Mary Rose".
The need to link the heritage sites across Medway is another problem that requires addressing along with the need to greatly improve the entrance and sense of arrival.
Command of the Oceans will preserve the ships' timbers in a new, purpose built viewing gallery that will incorporate a new visitor entrance and a new sense of arrival to The Historic Dockyard Chatham. The new Discovery Centre will tell the story of Chatham Dockyard and it's defences, unlocking the potential of the world class naval and military heritage sites across Medway.
To build a major new gallery telling the story of Chatham Dockyard during the Age of Sail
Activities» The creation of a new Discovery Centre that will also put Chatham Dockyard in the context of other heritage sites across Medway.
What success will look like
Success will be the creation of the new Age of Sail gallery to the standard required for a place of world class naval and military heritage.
The preservation and interpretation of the NAMUR - an assemblage of ships' timbers.
Activities» A new facility will create a new (in-situ) home for the Ships' Timbers allowing for greater viewing access and improved interpreation.
What success will look like
Success will be the long term preservation of the NAMUR. The ships' timbers will be preserved in-situ and their long term future will be secured.
The creation of a new visitor entrance and sense of arrival at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.
Activities» The creation of the new Discovery Centre will greatly improve visitor arrival to a place of world class naval and military heritage.
What success will look like
Success will be the successful creation of the new visitor entrance and Discovery Centre supporting world class naval and military heritage across Medway.
The project will demonstrate the world class naval and military heritage that is available in Medway by linking a number of key sites together using The Historic Dockyard Chatham as a landing points for visitors. This will increase visitation to all attractions, therefore having a significant impact on the local economy. The Historic Dockyard Chatham alone already contributes over £16m per annum to the local economy and this project is set to greatly increase this figure.
Reaching the required fundraising target is the biggest risk with this project, as it is with many projects. At this stage we have recieved initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a £4.5m grant and have a fundraising strategy in place for the remaining £4m required to deliver the project.
Of this, £3m is expected to come from a significant donor who has been identified and discussions are taking place (unconfirmed at this stage). This leaves approximately £1m to raise.
All donors will receive regular (quarterly) progress updates on the project including images of work undertaken to date. All donors and supporters can visit our website at any time for an update on the project and fundraising progess.
Budget - Project Cost: £8,500,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £8,500,000 Command of the Oceans Total Budget - Breakdown to follow
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Heritage Lottery Fund £4,500,000 Conditional
The project is taking place at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, a unique 80 acre heritage site that includes 3 historic warships (4 including the NAMUR) and over 100 buildings that are either listed or registered scheduled ancient monuments.
The site operates a policy of preservation through re-use and this has seen a number of buildings on site brought back into life with appropriate re-uses providing sustainable futures for buildings and creating a unique mixed use community.
The local economy of Medway will benefit greatly from the successful completion of this project. The residents of Medway and visitors to the area will be able to fully understand the significance of the world class naval and military heritage.
The long term preservation of the NAMUR is of importance to a great number of people and as a ship of great historical significance, it is important to secure the long term future of the ship for generations to come.
The Historic Dockyard Chatham has undertaking a number of large capital projects in it's 25+ year history, most recently No.1 Smithery, a partnership with two national museums (National Maritime Museum and Imperial War Museum) to house their ship model collections. No.1 Smithery was on the English Heritage "At Risk" register and a sustainable reuse needed to be found to secure the building's long term future. No.1 Smithery now has that use and has been recognised as a major cultural facility.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Bill Ferris OBE
Richard Holdsworth MBE
Preservation and Eduction Director