On Friday, 27 November, Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham, Greg Hands, paid another visit to the National Army Museum in Chelsea.
When the House of Commons is not sitting, it is customary for Members of Parliament to spend Fridays out and about in their constituencies, and this Friday was no different for Greg Hands MP. In addition to meeting representatives of an education FinTech company in Fulham, Greg Hands visited the National Army Museum in Chelsea.
Founded in 1960 by Royal Charter, the National Army Museum was established to collect, preserve, and exhibit objects and records relating to the Land Forces of the British Crown. The Museum is located adjacent to the Royal Hospital, and is usually open to the public every day of the year – apart from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. However, since 1 May 2014, it has been closed for a major rebuilding programme after it received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Museum is due to reopen in late 2016.
Greg Hands was grateful for the opportunity not only to discuss the progress of the renovation with Janice Murray, Director General of the National Army Museum, but also to see it first hand on a tour of the site.
The visit proved fortuitous in the wake of the Spending Review and Autumn Statement, in which Greg himself had been a driving force as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Indeed, earlier in the week on Wednesday, 25 November, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that the National Army Museum – along with a number of other military charities and good causes – would benefit from the Government’s allocation of £25 million of banking fines over the next three years. Specifically, the National Army Museum is due to receive £1 million ‘to facilitate a radical transformation… ready for 21st century audiences’.
In light of the National Army Museum’s proximity to the Royal Hospital, Greg also took the opportunity to pay his respects once more to Baroness Thatcher, whose remains are interred in the grounds there with those of her husband.
Speaking after the visit, Greg Hands said: “It’s great to see the progress being made in the renovation of the National Army Museum in Chelsea in my constituency, and I’m so glad that the Government has been able to contribute to the refurbishment out of the £25 million of banking fines.
“I would like to thank Janice Murray, Director General of the National Army Museum, for welcoming me once again, and I wish her and her team every success in the reopening of the Museum next year.”