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18 Feb 2020

£900k Coastal Forces museum to open in Gosport
BY Lauren Heath-Jones

The Coastal Forces is a division of the Royal Navy that operates smaller craft such as motor boats

The Coastal Forces is a division of the Royal Navy that operates smaller craft such as motor boats

A new museum, dedicated to the smaller craft used by the Royal Navy in both world wars, is set to open in Gosport, Hampshire, in 2021.

The Coastal Forces Museum is expected to open in Q2 2021 and will be dedicated to the Coastal Forces, a smaller division of the Royal Navy that operated smaller craft, such as patrol launches, motorboats and torpedo boats.

The £900k (US$1.2m, €1.1m) museum will form part of the second phase of a £30m (US$39.1m, €36.1m) redevelopment of Priddy's Hard, a naval base on the west side of Portsmouth Harbour.

The site, which is owned by the Royal Navy, served as a naval ammunition and armament depot until the late 1980s. It will be transformed into an entertainment complex that will also include the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower.

The Coastal Forces Museum will aim to educate visitors on the not insignificant role the Coastal Forces played in both world wars. According to Dr Dominic Tweddle, the director-general of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Coastal Forces were an 'important component' of the Royal Navy and had more than 2000 boats manned by 25,000 officers at the height of both wars.

"They attracted people looking for a bit of 'derring-do' because the missions they performed were brimming with excitement and often action," Tweddle said.

Two boats, a Coastal Motor Boat 331 and a Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) 71, will serve as the focal point of the museum, alongside a host of other memorabilia.



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