Our Supporters


The project already has the support of individuals and major businesses who are providing pro bono support to help bring the project to life.

John M Hannides B.A.(Hons.)

John M Hannides

As a serving Southampton City Councillor since 1994, John has played a major part in supporting the region’s aviation heritage and led the formation of the Cultural Development Trust, to promote maritime history and the arts.

“It’s a privilege to play a part in bringing this international landmark to Southampton, the home of the Spitfire. I’m delighted the Government has backed the project as the UK’s monument to the men and women who built, flew and maintained this iconic aircraft. The Spirit of the Spitfire stands tall as a beacon of hope, courage and engineering excellence. Virtues that are as relevant today as they were in Britain’s ‘darkest hour’ during the Battle of Britain in 1940.”


Southampton City Council

Southampton City Council have supported the Spitfire project with the allocation of land along the city’s waterfront with the monument being a centre-piece of a multi-million pound waterfront development. The Council has also confirmed its commitment to allocate up to £0.5m to fund specialist project management support including ground works and site investigation works.


HM Treasury

The Government has pledged £3m in match funding for the monument meaning they match every £1 donated from others up to the value of £3m.



Evolution5 supports a number of charities and provides sponsorship to sports teams and athletes who are based in the region. Therefore when Cllr John Hannides of the National Spitfire Project approached us about this exciting and challenging project we jumped at the chance to provide our complete Project Management services free of charge.

The project resonates with us as a Company but also with individuals within our team who have close family connections to the building of the Spitfire. We truly believe that it is an amazing opportunity to be able to contribute to something that means so much to the City of Southampton, where the Spitfire was designed, built and took its first flight all those years ago.

We are honoured to be part of such a dynamic team of individuals and organisations whose expertise is being kindly donated to a truly remarkable icon of innovation, courage and hope, that still warms the hearts of many who are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her flying overhead.


Blake Morgan Solicitors

"The decision to provide legal services to the National Spitfire Project on a pro bono basis was an easy one for us. When we met with Alan and John to hear more about the project, it was clear that the team had the required clarity and passion to deliver a tribute to a machine that evokes so much passion in us all. When the Spitfire is mentioned it stirs in all of us a sense of ownership and pride and we certainly wanted to be part of the team to deliver that.

Whilst the tribute will stand on Southampton waterfront, it is the fact that it is a tribute for Great Britain which caught our imagination. This links with our firm's ability to provide legal services beyond the Southern region, to all areas with a connection to the Spitfire. We are privileged to be working on this project with such an enthusiastic team and we shall look forward to the day she flies permanently over Southampton water."



BECG is excited to come on board to provide John and the team with PR and marketing support to promote the next phase of fundraising that will help bring the Spitfire monument to life. As local built environment experts with a passion for the city in which we work, we’re honoured to be a part of delivering not only a highly anticipated regeneration project for Southampton but also a spectacular monument that celebrates the true spirit of the Spitfire in no better place than its home city.


The University Of Southampton

“The University of Southampton is delighted to support the “Spirit of the Spitfire” monument. As a proud civic partner to the City of Southampton, we recognise the importance of commemorating the contributions made by the people of Southampton to the design of this iconic aircraft, and particularly the human cost of ensuring its manufacture during a time of national crisis. The staff and students of the University look forward to contributing to the project in a wide variety of ways, including technical support and contributing to the project’s outreach.” Prof. Mark Spearing, Vice-President Research and Enterprise.

MindWorks Marketing

MindWorks Marketing

We heard about the National Spitfire Monument from our client, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. As a local company, it is part of our ethos to engage with local organisations and for us, it was an easy decision to get involved with the National Spitfire Project, providing public relations support on a pro bono basis.

All organistations have marketing and public relations objectives that they want to achieve; a nascent charity is no exception. It is our job to help turn these objectives into a reality with fresh ideas and effective support. Success is what we are here for.

With the National Spitfire Project we are raising awareness, developing marketing material, managing their digital footprint and developing their brand. We have 30 in-house specialists, including digital developers, creatives, account handlers and a production department that are all focused on delivering the right work at the right time.

Our offices by the sea on the South Coast gives us a peaceful environment that allows us to focus on delivering the best work possible for our clients.

MindWorks - together we make it happen every single day.

Royston Smith Gm Mp

Royston Smith GM MP

“The iconic Spitfire was instrumental in defending our country during WW2 but particularly during the Battle of Britain. This country and our lives would have been very different but for the heroism of the young pilots who bravely took to the skies in R J Mitchell's magnificent feat of engineering. We are proud to call Southampton the home of the Spitfire and I am grateful to the Government for trusting us to deliver this project and for supporting it by match funding donations with £3m from Treasury."

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Geoff Walker

Geoff is a qualified accountant having been admitted to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1984.  Throughout his early years he has worked for UK listed companies and US Corporations and consolidated his career in the retail motor trade for 20 years in various Finance Director positions.  He set up his own consultancy business in 1990 providing FD and accountancy services to SME’s and invested in a Building Services Group in the late 90’s.  He was instrumental in the Group’s growth from a turnover of £8m to over £50m.  He sold in 2016 and retired.  He has been involved in various ‘not for profit’ organisations over the years and received a commendation from the Hants and IOW Wing, Royal Air Force Air Cadets, for his “dedicated service in the management of the Civilian Committee”.  He still runs a commercial property business with over 100,000 sq ft across 30 premises.

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Grant Harrison

Grant is a South African entrepreneur and currently the Managing Director of Majengo Ltd, a Director of Missionkraft Ltd., and previously Board Director of the British Powerboat Racing Club in Cowes   He emigrated from South Africa to the UK in 2004, now living and operating his business from the Southampton area. He is well known locally in Business Solent, Isle of Wight and in London, for his business endeavours in both the Construction and Marine sectors.  

As an ex-military man, Grant is an active member of the South African Legion (part of Royal British Legion), as after completing tertiary education in electronic engineering, he joined the permanent force in the South African Navy 

He was instrumental in developing links with India, as a Board Director of the Solent India Business Network with Southampton University 

Grant was recently awarded Freeman of the City of London, after being nominated by Hampshire County Council and Sir John Cass Foundation (Cass Business School) in London, for his contribution to promoting UK business both in the South of England and Internationally   

Grant is the Past Chairman of the Institute of Directors (IOD) for Hampshire and IoW, and currently is an IOD Ambassador for the South/South East, and is a past Treasurer and a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute  

Having raced for over 40 years in most offshore classes, circuit formulas and Thundercats, he has been awarded South African Springbok colours on 2 occasions representing South Africa in World Championships, and representing UK in 3 World Championships 


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Jamie Barrett

Jamie is the founder and managing director of Evolution5 Construction Limited and Epiphany Developments Limited.  He started Evolution5, a property & construction consultancy in 2007, and Epiphany a development company in 2015.  Prior to establishing Evolution5, Jamie worked for some of UK’s top construction companies, including Balfour Beatty, Mansell Construction, Carillion Building and Tarmac Construction.

Jamie is a Chartered Project Management Surveyor with over 22 years’ experience of working in the construction industry. 

He has also held the role as a Trustee of the Chartered Institute of Building, a registered charity established in 1834 that has over 44,000 members. Jamie has had extensive involvement at both local, national and international levels of the organisation. Jamie is also an active member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Association for Project Management.

He has worked on a variety of projects for both private and public sector clients across education, health, industrial, commercial, defence and residential sectors. 


Paul Beaver FRAeS VR

Paul Beaver is very much a hands-on historian with a pilot’s logbook which includes the Spitfire, Harvard and Mustang. He regulars flies the family Cessna and is an authorised civilian and military flying display director. He is a licenced battlefield guide and an acknowledged expert on the Spitfire, the Battle of Britain, the Dambusters raid, naval aviation and current operations.

He has written more than 70 books, including, Spitfire Evolution, which covers all 72 variants of the Spitfire was published on 5th March 2016 to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the maiden flight of the Type 300 which became the Spitfire. He is now working on the Biography of Eric (Winkle) Brown and has completed the first volume of aviation-related cocktails for St Clement-Danes, the central church of the Royal Air Force.

Paul’s charity work, besides the National Spitfire Project, includes being a Trustee of the Army Flying Museum and the Billy Fiske Foundation which remembers the first American pilot to die in the Battle of Britain. He is a member of the Aeronautical Heritage committee of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Other memberships include the T E Lawrence Society, the Royal Air Force Historical Society and the Battle of Britain Historical Society. 

Paul is a Member of No 601 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force which traces its history back to before the Battle of Britain. Previously, he had been an
army aviation reservist, retiring in 2013 with the rank of Colonel. From 2014-16, he was Chairman of No 1010 (City of Salisbury) Squadron of the Air Cadet Organisation and retains a strong interest in net zero aviation and education. He leads a series of study days and residential courses on the Spitfire, Biggles, Cecil Lewis and Double Agents for Andante Travels.

Well qualified as a pilot and historian, Paul spent 15 years directly linked to Jane’s including Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Jane’s Defence Weekly. He made JDW into a household name in 1990 through his broadcasting during the Liberation of Kuwait and eventually became a freelance war correspondent for Sky News and a studio ‘expert’ for BBC News and CNN International, for whom he jointly presented the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (from Normandy), VE-Day (from Moscow) and the Hong Kong Handover. He still contributes to broadcast outlets and documentaries.

Paul Lester CBE

Paul Lester CBE | Chairman of McCarthy Stone, Readypower, Marley, FirstPort and Apello. Former Chief Executive of VT Group plc

“I’m delighted to support the Spitfire monument in the city of Southampton. The Spitfire inspired a nation and we hope the monument will inspire a nation to honour its history and inspire future generations to never forget the significance of this awe inspiring aircraft.”