Restoration of D-Day landing craft wins top heritage award

A project to restore and exhibit one of the last surviving D-Day landing crafts has won the Restoration or Conservation Project of the Year prize at the Museum and Heritage Awards 2021.

LCT 7074 is the last surviving Landing Craft Tank (LCT) from D-Day and played a vital role in transporting men and supplies across the English Channel.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944, it transported 10 tanks to Normandy and, after the war, was retired from service and turned into a nightclub in Liverpool. It later fell into disrepair and sank in Birkenhead docks. However, following a huge recovery project, it has now finally been restored and displayed for the public.

The craft forms one of the centre pieces of D-Day Story, an exhibition area at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, keeping alive the heroic stories of those involved in D-Day for future generations.

Earlier this week, the restoration project was recognised at the Museum and Heritage Awards, which celebrates the best museums, galleries and heritage projects around the world. Awarding the prize, judges said of the scheme: "The scale of this project is astonishing and was, without doubt, challenging. It was detailed in its conservation principles and brilliantly delivered - the judges felt that it was a remarkable achievement."

Engineering consultancy, chapmanbdsp, provided mechanical and engineering services for the scheme and collaborated with Pritchard Architecture, Artelia, Petrichor, Future designs and others on the project.

John Biscoe, Board Director at chapmanbdsp, added: “We are very proud to been part of the team that worked with the National Museum of the Royal Navy on this hugely significant heritage project, which will allow future generations to better understand the ultimate sacrifice made by thousands of men on D-Day.”