Thes losses due to closure during the pandemic have cast doubt over the future viability of the charity and the centre.
The closure due to lockdown has decimated the centre’s finances, with 90 per cent of the project’s income having been cut. After re-opening on July 21, the reduction in numbers to allow for social distancing and further uncertainty about the pandemic, leading to 87 per cent of the project’s bookings having been cancelled, have had a dramatic and ongoing impact on the centre’s future sustainability, say leaders.
Since opening in Spring 2018, the IBCC has become one of Lincolnshire’s most popular visitor attractions, honouring the wartime bravery of the men and women of Bomber Command, creating the biggest free to access digital resource on the Command in the world, and contributing over £5million a year to the local economy.
It has been recognised by 17 regional and national awards including, most recently, the prestigious Visit England Best International Tourism Business Gold Award and the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award, marking as being one of the top 10 per cent of attractions worldwide.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon, IBCC Patron said: “The IBCC is unique in its telling of the story of the million forgotten men and women in support of Bomber Command. It has devoted itself over the last eight years to right the wrongs of the post-war era by sharing the stories of those who served with thousands of people, ensuring those who enjoy the freedoms of today never forget. Covid has put all of this work at great risk. We need to ensure our heritage is protected and so are asking for the public’s help via our crowdsourcing initiative.”
The campaign has been supported by a raft of celebrities and veterans including Outlander and Dark Knight actor, Colin McFarlane, historian James Holland, author John Nichol, presenters John Sergeant and Carol Vorderman and others.
Nicky Van Der Drift, chief executive of the IBCC, added: “Lockdown has affected so many areas of our lives and of course, many charities, including ourselves have lost substantial income. We are appealing to all of our ardent supporters in both Lincolnshire, the UK and globally, to help ensure that the story of the brave, and often heroic, members of Bomber Command are not lost but are heard, through the IBCC, for many years to come.
“Please, if you are able, help us today by donating, whatever you can, via our crowdfunding page.”
You can support the campaign at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-the-international-memorial-to-the-many
The centre is now open again but is having to limit numbers so pre-booking is essential. For your tickets or passes go to: https://internationalbcc.digitickets.co.uk/tickets