The plans to build a lasting monument to the Spitfire in Southampton have made some major strides in the last few months, further progressing the vision to rightly honour this icon of Britain in its home city.
The National Spitfire Project has come together to fundraise and build the National Spitfire Monument in Southampton. The charity aims to embody the spirit of the Spitfire in the dramatic design by Nick Hancock and honour all those who sacrificed so much to design, build and operate the Spitfire in Britain’s darkest days in defence of world-wide democracy and freedom. This breathtaking monument will be a true beacon of inspiration, innovation and hope for generations to come.
The National Spitfire Project, the new charity set up to oversee the fundraising and construction of the Monument, was inaugurated in the summer of 2014. Since its inception, the Board of Trustees have been working hard to bring key stakeholders on board to progress the project further.
Sir Ralph Robins, President of the Board of Trustees, said, “We have been working really hard to progress this project and have now secured the services of key organisations who are generously donating their time and resources for this fantastic cause.”
Blake Morgan LLP, Evolution 5, KPMG and MindWorks Marketing have all been providing expertise pro bono in their relevant fields (Legal, Project Management, Finance and Marketing & PR). Combined they have already donated tens of thousands of pounds in time and resources to guide the project towards its ultimate goal of raising £4,000,000.
In the autumn of 2014, initial planning approval was given by Southampton City Council to develop the site for the monument in Mayflower Park. This is one part of the £450 million Royal Pier development that will see significant development of Southampton’s waterfront and Mayflower Park increased to more than double its current size.
“This Monument is going to be central to the master plan to develop Southampton’s waterfront area,” said Councillor John Hannides. “It’s such an elegant monument and it’ll be a real focal point for regenerating the area and attracting tourism to the city.”
1.5 times the size of the original Spitfire, the stainless steel representation will soar 40m (131ft) above ground, seemingly taking flight over Southampton water. The stainless steel mast elegantly curves skyward where it is topped by the Spitfire reproduction. The mast resembles a vapour trail; wider at the base it guides the eye of the visitor to the Spitfire at is pinnacle. At the bottom of the mast, the word “Spitfire” will be embossed on the surface. The style of the text comes directly from the original marketing brochure that Supermarine produced in 1938. The circular plinth invokes the style of the roundels or Insignia used by the RAF and other international air forces. It will protrude over the waterfront and will have a reflection pool at its centre.