PLANS to build a new museum celebrating the history and heritage of the Royal Artillery near Larkhill are moving forward.

The Royal Artillery Museum would be located at Avon Camp West, close to the regiment’s home in Larkhill. The site is just south of Netheravon on the A345.

A planning application is due to be submitted to Wiltshire Council shortly. And if planning permission is granted it is hoped the museum could open in spring 2022.

The chairman of the Royal Artillery Museum trustees, Major General Nick Eeles, said: “It is enormously exciting to be at the stage were we have got the build site, the design that is fit for purpose and crucially is affordable. If the planning application goes well we could be building this later on this year. We are quite close to delivering something. It has been quite a long journey to get here.”

The collection is currently in storage following the decision to close the Firepower Museum at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich and create a new home for it in Larkhill, where the gunners have trained for over a century, re-establish it at the regiment’s home.

A plan to build the museum in the Larkhill area was previously mooted after the closure of the museum in Woolwich but it has since been scaled down to a “more deliverable” project. It is estimated to cost around £8 million.

The two storey, steel framed building will also have a viewing gallery above to allow visitors to see the Salisbury Plain landscape and military training areas.

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, known as the Royal Artillery or the Gunners, was formed by order of Royal Warrant in 1716. The museum collection covers 600 years of artillery development as well as three centuries of Royal Artillery history. It is one of only 148 collections awarded designated status under the Arts Council England scheme. The collection will also tell the history of the army on Salisbury Plain.

In addition to housing large artefacts there will also be a dedicated medal room. And outside there will be a First World War trench system as well as a display arena for demonstrations and activities including armoured vehicle rides, and a children’s play area and cafe.

Major General Eeles hopes the new museum will not only help boost tourism but also bring the military and civilian communities together.

The Royal Artillery Museum manages the collection on behalf of the Royal Artillery Historical Trust. For more information go to