PLANS at a Test Valley museum are taking off as it has been granted more than £1.5 million for a redevelopment project.

The Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop, near Stockbridge, received the go-ahead from National Lottery for its Project Eagle, for which it had already raised £900,000.

The project looks to expand and modernise the museum’s archive of 500,000 documents and 30,000 photos and will update and reinterpret its collection.

Michelle Roffe, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) South East, said: “The museum will now be able to reconnect with and boost visitor numbers, revitalise its displays and offer a whole host of opportunities for people to get involved with this important part of our regimental history.”

Work is expected to start over the winter 2018-19, and re-open in April 2019.

The museum focuses on telling the international story of British Army flying, from the eve of D-Day to operations including the Falklands and Afghanistan.

The upcoming project aims will also feature a three-year community, educational and volunteer programme to include a schools programme, oral history project, pop-up museum, internship programme and children’s club on site.

Museum chief executive Chris Munns said: “This is a most important milestone and a testament to all those that have helped with the planning of the project and the excellent support that we have received.”

The museum is at the Army Air Corps base where Prince Harry trained on Apache helicopters before service in Afghanistan.