Plans for a larger museum showcasing UK aircraft heritage at an air hangar in Hooton, Ellesmere Port, have been given the clear for take-off.

Hooton Park Trust will be able to showcase its expanded facilities and displays from this Sunday (April 28) at an open day.

Previously, we reported on a change of use application which had been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council to allow the trust to open a much larger museum on its site, using what would be a renovated Grade II*-listed hangar.

An application by Owen Ellis Architects, on behalf of Hooton Park Trust, explained that Hooton Park first became an aerodrome during the First World War, with Hooton Hall used as a headquarters, hospital and officers' mess for the 18th Battalion of the King's Liverpool Rifles, with hangars and an aeroplane repair section built in 1917.

Aero enthusiasts brought new life to Hooton Park in the late 1920s and 1930s with the venue becoming a national centre for light aircraft, before the light bomber unit, the 610 (County of Chester) Squadron, was formed there in 1936 and used the base after the Second World War.

During the Second World War, Hooton Park was home to several RAF units and assembled aircraft sent from America.

The site was abandoned in 1957, with Vauxhall taking over the site and building the factory which still manufactures vehicles today.

Now the Hooton Park Trust, a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation set up in 2000 to run the remaining areas of the historic aerodrome, looked to attract renewed interest with a larger museum showcasing the area's past.

The 2,680 sq m hangar which would be used for the museum would house some of the aircraft which has been relocated since the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry closed its Air and Space Hall in 2021.

Proposed exhibits at the new museum include an Avro 594 Avian G-EBZM, a de Havilland Tiger Moth EM-840, a Gloster Meteor T7 WH132, a Miles Gemini Mk.1A G-AKHZ and a Sopwith Baby replica, plus other historic planes, gliders, vehicles and aero engines.

The applicants added that moving the current museum into a larger base would have no impact on the Grade II*-listed status of the hangar, and would actually enhance its standing.

A total of 90 car parking spaces are proposed for the museum, six of which would be for disabled parking.

A Cheshire West and Chester Council planning officer, recommending approval, noted in their report: "The proposed museum would focus on the origins of the site as Hooton Park with a country house known as Hooton Hall before being repurposed for the RFC (Royal Flying Corp) and then RAF ( Royal Air Force) airfield to its more recent use by Vauxhall.

"The museum would be housed in Building 16 as shown on the submitted proposed floor plan with aircraft displayed within it.

"The re-use of the hanger [sic] reminiscent of its original function to house aircraft would be in the interests of both maintaining the long-term viability of the structure and preserving its original form and function of the heritage asset."

Hooton Park Trust will hold its first open day on Sunday, April 28, from 10am-4pm. Admission is £5, under 16s free when accompanied. A revamped café will be in operation, and members of the public will be able to see Meteor and Vampire aircraft, plus a full-size replica of a Spitfire IX.

Limited parking is available on site – the trust advises that, in the event of the open day being very busy, parking will be at Hooton Station with a vintage bus shuttle in operation.

After Sunday's event, the Hooton Park Hangars will host open days on every last Sunday in the month until October 27.

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