The next phase of Gosport Diving Museum’s regeneration scheme has been boosted after the borough council awarded the project a grant.

Under the Heritage Grants Fund, the Historical Diving Society’s representative Councillor Kevin Casey asked for £40,000 and said ‘every penny helps’ and was ’grateful’ for the grant award of £25,000 for the redevelopment of the museum.

This is the second grant awarded by Gosport Borough Council to the volunteer-run museum’s £1.1 million project which has now won nearly £803,000 in grants. 

Cllr Casey said the repair phase is almost finished and this grant is critical for the next phase which will help in creating the activities at the museum due to open in July 2025.

He said: “We will be taking on a part-time museum manager and part-time community engagement officer. We will start opening more days of the week, increasing to five days of the week, opening more months of the year and becoming a fully functioning museum.

“We will increase local tourism, employment and push more income into the local economy.”

Cllr Casey said: “It is a big investment for Gosport. We are all volunteers and there is about £44,900 of volunteer time and there is a lot of work going into it. This will be an asset to Gosport.”

The unique museum will be extending its educational offering, working with students at Bay House School and Bridgemary School with their ‘Unlocking the Science of Diving’ project. 

The grants sub-board members were all impressed and commented on Cllr Cassey’s drive in spearheading the project and with the amount of funding achieved.

The museum housed at No. 2, Battery in Stokes Bay Road was described by Councillor Graham Burgess as a derelict building that was a ‘blot’ on the landscape now turned into somewhere families can visit.

Councillor June Cully said in referring to the glossy grant document presented, she admired what he had to produce to get the funding and praised that he is constantly reaching out to get funding.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn said: “We all know it’s a fantastic project. Without question, it will be a superb asset but with our money, the amount you raise is a small beer. This is going to happen anyway and I would like to support it.”