Co Antrim firm Marcon wins deal to fit out £5m RAF museum in London
A Co Antrim firm has won a major deal to fit out a new £5m museum celebrating Britain's most famous RAF fighter station.
Marcon in Antrim will fit out the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum in London, which will focus on the airfield's role during the Battle of Britain and rest of the Second World War.
Famed for its contribution during the Luftwaffe's attempt to clear the RAF from the skies in 1940 prior to a planned Nazi invasion, Sir Winston Churchill called the station the "strongest link".
His great-grandson Randolph is a patron of the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum Trust.
The work, which comes as the RAF celebrates its centenary, will also involve the preservation of the listed St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance.
Biggin Hill is the latest museum and heritage contract for Marcon, which has worked on projects including the American Air Museum at Duxford and, closer to home, the Seamus Heaney HomePlace centre in Bellaghy. Its other museum projects include Titanic Belfast and the Connemara cottage where Easter Rising leader Padraig Pearse spent part of his life.
Marcon has around 60 employees across its Antrim base and regional offices in Sheffield and Middlesbrough.
In its results for the year ending March 2017, the company reported pre-tax profits of £2.4m on turnover of £26m.
For the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum fit-out, Marcon will be procuring all the showcases, audio visual hardware, graphics and interactive exhibits.
And the company's in-house specialist joinery workshop will manufacture the feature setworks, furniture and solid surface items within the new museum. Marcon director Mark O'Connor said: "We are very much looking forward to working with the entire project team on this special museum project.
"This is a very exciting scheme and when complete it will be a world-class museum for local people and international visitors alike.
"Securing this project in London is another important milestone in our continued strategic growth within the heritage sector."
Jemma Johnson-Davey, director of Biggin Hill Memorial Museum, said: "With Marcon's help, we will be opening our doors to the public in November this year, 100 years after the end of the First World War and on the centenary year of the founding of the RAF.
"The museum will celebrate and share people's first-hand experiences of wartime Biggin Hill, offering our visitors a truly unique and personal account."