A one-year project which began in 2012. It’s taken ten years and £16million in funding but today Lincoln’s International Bomber Command Centre is a rich attraction, tapping into myriad audiences, welcoming 285,000 visitors in four years, making it the third biggest attraction following the cathedral and castle and the only Visit England Gold winner. It is unique. A literal and metaphorical landmark our county, Bomber County, is very rightly proud of.
Offering unrivalled views across the county’s panoramas, especially towards the cathedral – a view which echoes that the Avro Lancaster pilots would have had coming into land, knowing they were returning home safely – IBCC truly is an attraction that sets itself apart.
An experience built entirely around stories, the stories of people, all people – no matter their allegiance, Bomber Command was represented in 62 different nations, 37 are represented at IBCC - who lost their lives during the Second World War in connection to Bomber Command, IBCC pays homage to a significant chapter in Lincolnshire’s history. Bringing it into the 21st century and continuing to make those stories relevant to the visitors of today.
Lincolnshire’s aviation heritage is, of course, already a huge draw for visitors coming into the county from all over the world. And IBCC is a must-see attraction on their agenda. As well as international and national visitors looking to find long-lost relatives and putting Lincolnshire’s Bomber Command role into perspective, school visits and corporate relationships are also a huge part of what has made IBCC so successful today.
All on-site operations are headed up by CEO, Nicky Van Der Drift. A living, breathing, walking, talking, bank of knowledge and passion when it comes to our Bomber Boys and Women for that matter. And for the development and growth of our county itself.
“For me, the driving factor behind Destination Lincolnshire is to strengthen our value as a county to visit. Lincolnshire has so much to offer but it’s still largely unknown. The coast, the city, the heritage, the farming... We need a stronger voice to represent the beauty that is Lincolnshire as a package. It won’t be easy, but Destination Lincolnshire has the potential to do it. A county-wide DMO is what is required - even the name is a fantastic start!
"Destination Lincolnshire has the ability to pull people into the county, it’s a much more positive take on the DMO model. People have faith that the job can be done by Destination Lincolnshire. And that is down to the team that’s now in place.
"They are already the best connected and so experienced in the destination marketing sector, with incredible links to Visit England and the DCMS. To make the best of our businesses and cultural assets we need to be unified. We need a designated ops team with proven acumen to do that for us. That team is Destination Lincolnshire.
"It is a DMO that can bring us, the businesses working within the visitor economy, more opportunities for outward investment and funding. If it’s played right, all of this work will lead to further government support and recognition. This truly is an opportunity to strengthen the support package we have here in Lincolnshire. To champion businesses working together, exchanging advice and ideas and creating a real community and camaraderie from within the industry.
"For IBCC, partnerships and outward funding have been our lifeline to continue. The project has relied on funding from its fruition, and we’ve been creative with it to ensure we make the most out of every pound in order to best benefit the visitor.
"Our pull-points are unique. But they are also very accessible. IBCC is the only place in the world where Bomber Command losses are remembered by name. There are 58,000 names on the walls here, with an average age of 25 years old. Their stories are what make this attraction one of a kind.
"As well as the physical memorial here, IBCC is also home to an enormous archive, that the team has been working to digitise. It is a massive pool of assets with over 300,000 documents and 6.2 million pieces of data. The losses database alone is the single biggest resource of Bomber Command’s history in the world.
"And doing all this incredible work is a team of 428 volunteers, working in 7 countries. 112 of those volunteers work on-site at IBCC. From tour guides to those who work on the thriving house gardens – home to our herb beds which feed the on-site café, the International Peace Garden and Jubilee Grove – and the team who work on corporate events, weddings, wakes and dining events we host here all year round."
More stories from leading experts and businesses
We have more than 250 Destination Lincolnshire partners just like you who are seeing the benefits of being part of our business community. Join the likes of English Heritage, The National Trust, Spirit of Skegness, Siemens, International Bomber Command Centre, Stokes of Lincoln, Rand Farm Animal Park, Bridleway B&B Riseholme and Away Resorts Boston. on our mission to make Lincolnshire a top 10 destination.Find out more