Thames Heritage Boat Museum gets green light

A NEW Thames museum based at Beale Park near Pangbourne, has just been granted full planning permission by West Berkshire council, following the submission of a Reserved Matters Planning Application for Appearance, Landscaping and Scale.

The Principal Planning Officer who recommended approval stated: “The proposal provides a unique opportunity to display maritime artefacts and boating memorabilia which is of historic value and an educational asset. Given that the site is currently used for tourism the proposed use complements
this and will deliver both a social and economic benefit.”

The site is indeed perfect for the proposed Museum, with well established visitor facilities at the picturesque Beale Park Wildlife Park and Gardens which already attract some 150,000 visitors per year to the area. It also has the added benefit of water access to the Thames allowing the Museum to feature working exhibits on the water as well as static ones ashore.

The Tamesis Trust established in 2015 is the new charitable trust responsible for the proposed Museum project and have already lined up an impressive array of important historic river craft and other related artefacts for display.

Working together with various related historical and boating organisations this collection is expected to be increased as the project progresses, with the aim that
the Museum will become a working hub of information and display, celebrating the wonderful boating history of what is arguably Britain’s most iconic waterway – The River Thames.

The whole project is expected to cost around £1.25M and inquiries have already been made toward potential funding possibilities, so now that full planning permission has been secured the real work on this task can begin, making the new Museum a reality.

This really is a wonderful chance to bring our largely forgotten boating heritage to a much wider audience, stimulating and entertaining people now and for future generations to come. So please do help spread the word about the project, raising public awareness further will always be important and if you can help with funding then even better, please do get in touch with the Tamesis Trust.