Tangmere Tower restoration campaign hits first fundraising target

The control tower at the former RAF base is on the heritage at risk register after falling into disrepair. Photo provided by Chichester District Council. SUS-171031-164807001
The control tower at the former RAF base is on the heritage at risk register after falling into disrepair. Photo provided by Chichester District Council. SUS-171031-164807001

A fundraising effort towards the initial stages of restoring Tangmere’s airfield control tower has soared to its £10,000 target.

The milestone is largely due to a huge donation of more than £8500 from Neil Cotty on Sunday which stunned campaign leader Matt Gover-Wren.

Porting on the Justgiving page, Mr Cotty referenced tower’s imprtant role during the Second World War, when Tangmere was an RAF base.

He wrote: “An important part of local history. One our children can come and visit and understand the sacrifice made by others during this terrible time.”

Matt said seeing the donation on Monday morning had been a ‘pleasant surprise’ and he was delighted the project could move into the first phase of assessing the state of the building through an initial architectural survey.

He said: “I’d like to thank everybody who donated. We had 41 donations, obviously the last one was very substantial and big thanks to that person.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be at this point this early because we’ve only been fundraising for a little while, it’s overwhelming.

“We’re now in a position where we can crack on and really start to explore what we can do to move things forward.”

It is hoped the tower, which is on the Heritage at Risk register, can be made into a useful community space that will serve as a reminder of the airfield’s important RAF history and Tangmere’s wartime bravery.

As part of the Save Tangmere Tower campaign, supporters are being asked to send in their memories of the tower to help with a heritage lottery fund bid further down the line.

Matt contibutions were still coming in and he hoped the tower would eventually have a space to display the material for future visitors.

“The hope is to incoporate that human story in the tower somehow,” he said.

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tangmeretower. Follow @TangmereTower