THE Falkland Islands Government Executive Council has agreed the provision of a capital grant of up to £1m and a loan facility of up to £750,000 to support the Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust (FIMNT) to progress the development and construction of the new Lookout Gallery and Exhibition Hall. The package is designed to mitigate ongoing financial pandemic pressures, including the continued absence of international tourism.

The Gallery and Hall will be situated east of The Trough and will be 20m wide and 60m long with about two thirds exhibition hall and the remainder used as a “much needed storage facility,” the Museum’s Teena Ormond told Penguin News.

The Hall will show off large pieces such as the Seaking Helicopter, a Phantom Cockpit, Fire Engine, the Governor’s taxi and potentially a Harrier and a Lynx if the cost of shipment is eventually fundraised to bring the latter items to the Falklands. Mrs Ormond said there were a number of other large items too.

Deputy Chair of the Legislative Assembly, MLA Roger Spink, said: “We truly recognise how important an asset the museum is, not only to our own community, but also to visitors to our shores, who are endlessly fascinated by our unique history. Ahead of an important anniversary year in 2022, I am pleased that the government has been able to make this agreement with FIMNT to help ensure that they can continue to protect, preserve and promote our heritage for both our antecedents and descendants. I am sure that the new Lookout Gallery and Exhibition Hall will be another jewel in the Falkland Islands crown, as the tourism sector continues to recover and we can once again welcome intrepid travellers to our home.”

Full details of the terms of the loan and grant, together with a detailed build programme, will be developed and presented to a future meeting of the Executive Council for approval.