RDP project database
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.
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.
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
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Private contribution (€)
+44 1437 775790
Languages for contact
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
€100 000 - €500 000
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