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Datenbank der Projekte zur ländlichen Entwicklung

Pembroke Dock's Flying Boats Visitor Centre


The construction of the Flying Boat Interpretation Centre at Pembroke Dock has brought together the local community through events and activities that revive local history, promote volunteering and social cohesion and increase the appeal of the area.


During the Second World War RAF Sunderland flying boats were based at Pembroke Dock and were the epicentre of the Battle of the Atlantic, helping to protect convoys of ships carrying vital supplies against the menace posed by German U-boats. The inspiration for the Centre came with the discovery of a submerged Sunderland in the waters off Pembroke Dock. The Sunderland sunk during a gale in November 1940 yet its story has only recently come to light due to strict censorship laws at that time.


The Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust wished to document important historic events and with the assistance of RDP funding established the Flying Boat Interpretation. The aim is for the Centre to teach people about these aircraft and tell the story of the vital role these aircraft played during the war, helping to regenerate the local community in the process.

Main activities

The project renovated and refurbished an existing workshop building within the historic Royal Dockyard. This provided an easily accessible interpretation centre, a conservation workshop and an archive display area for the Pembroke Dock Sunderland Trust. The Centre focuses on RAF Station Pembroke Dock and its flying boats. Many parts of the flying boat (engine, propeller blades, etc.) were salvaged and restored by a dedicated team of over 40 volunteers, with the aim of restoring all the remains.

Results & Benefits

The project has encouraged volunteering and contributed to the regeneration of the local community. The large number of events, activities and projects undertaken in the short period of time in the context of the new Centre show the significant benefit the funding has brought to the community. Many volunteers have signed up to support the Centre and a large number of visitors have been drawn to the Centre. In 17 months more than 11,500 visitors have come to the Centre from all over the world.

Lessons learnt

Rural development projects that build on historic heritage can contribute to bringing together communities enhancing their cohesion and active involvement in local events and community life.

Project location and other information

Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire



RDP Territory


Total project cost (€)

425 765

EAFRD contribution (€)

154 343

National contribution (€)

182 261

Private contribution (€)

89 161

Contact name

Geraldine O'Donnell


+44 1437 775790

Languages for contact


At a glance


United Kingdom

Final beneficiary type

Non-governmental organisations

Budget range

€100 000 - €500 000

Start date:


End Date:


Theme / Measure:

• Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
• Rural economic diversification
• 313. Encouragement of tourism activities


Quality of life, Awareness raising, Society, Tourism, Voluntary work

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