LNAA receives grant to fund new home for Ambucopter

LNAA receives grant to fund new home for Ambucopter

To support the funding of a new home for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, the Charity has been awarded £1.8m from the Department of Health and Social Care from the £10 million made available in the Autumn Budget for all UK air ambulance charities.

£10 million was set aside by Chancellor Philip Hammond to help the 18 Air Ambulance charities in England with capital projects (not day to day operations). Applications were restricted to £2 million per charity. The Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance was successful in its application and has been awarded the full amount of funding applied for: a total of £1,818,200.

The Charity will use this award to help pay for their planned new Headquarters, which will see Charity staff, crew and helicopter all based under one roof.  This move will help bring tremendous advantages to the Charity, allowing for closer working between staff and crew whilst providing a facility for visitors and benefactors to visit the Charity and support their fundraising efforts.

This new future-proof home, which will be based on the A15 Sleaford Road subject to planning permission, will provide a helicopter take off and landing pad for both day and night operations as the Charity hopes to move to full 24/7 coverage by the end of this year. The brand-new Headquarters and airbase will have its very own specialist, purpose-built hangar with space to enable on-site engineering, along with housing for the Charity’s Critical Care Car with direct access onto the road network for faster response time.

Enhanced crew training facilities will also be available at the new airbase, which will help clinicians to develop their skills further and prepare for the incidents they respond to.

Karen Jobling, Chief Executive Officer at the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, said: “We are delighted to announce our exciting plans for a new home for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, which subject to planning permission, will be situated just a stone’s throw away from our current airbase at RAF Waddington on the A15 Sleaford Road on MOD surplus land who have agreed to sell us the land.

“This incredible development for our Charity, which will see our staff, crew and helicopter all based under one roof for the very first time, will be situated just 200m from where it is now; directly adjacent from the RAF base. We’re incredibly grateful to everyone at RAF Waddington for allowing us to use this base as our home for the last 25 years, and we’re delighted that our very close proximity means that we can continue to build on our close relationship with military personnel and the RAF station overall.

“Although our day to day operations are solely funded by donations and rely on the public to keep our helicopter flying, we’re delighted to have recently received a grant from the Department of Health and Social Care of £1.8million to help fund the building of our new base. This one-off capital grant will be a huge boost as we work towards a new home for our Ambucopter and will enable us to get this major, future-proof project moving much quicker.

“As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary this year, the move comes as a tremendous development for our local Air Ambulance. The new Headquarters will provide our crew with improved training facilities which will help strengthen and enhance the vital life-saving work of our Charity, as well as providing a facility which will enable us to open our doors to many more of our supporters and former patients.

“With thanks to the support of our local communities, we have seen our life-saving Charity grow tremendously over the last 25 years. We cannot thank the people of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire enough for their overwhelming and continued support.”

The Station Commander at RAF Waddington, Group Captain Tom Burke, added: “We are delighted that the Air Ambulance are staying close to RAF Waddington and we can maintain and develop our long-standing relationship.”

If you would like to find out more about the life-saving work of the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, visit www.ambucopter.org.uk.