TANK museum supporters are celebrating after securing more than £30,000 Arts Council England funding.

The money will be used to help maintain the Bovington attraction's historic collection of armoured vehicles. Operation of these vehicles, particularly those originating outside the UK, requires a high level of engineering expertise and training, museum bosses say.

Because of this latest financial boost, courtesy of Art Council England's Designated Development Fun, the Tank Museum will be able to retain the necessary skills, and allow experts from around Europe and the UK to share knowledge with its staff.

Tank Museum marketing head Nik Wyness said: "Working with experts from across the military vehicle sector means that we are looking after our historic collection to the highest possible standards.

"As the custodians of this piece of national heritage, it is crucial that we keep them in good condition for generations to come.”

Meanwhile, South West Arts Council England area director Phil Gibby said: "We are extremely pleased to support The Tank Museum through our Designation Development Fund, with thanks to the National Lottery.

“The project will ensure the long-term sustainability of The Tank Museums’ excellent collection of historic vehicles, allowing more people to experience the benefits that cultural activity can bring.

“We are delighted that this funding will encourage collaborative working and sharing of best practice between the Tank Museum and experts from around Europe and the UK.”

The Tank Museum has more than 300 tanks from 26 different nations.

It is widely regarded as boasting the finest and most historically significant collection of fighting armour anywhere in the world.

Its exhibits range from the world’s first ever tank, Little Willie, through to the British Army’s current main battle tank, Challenger 2.

Between 2018 and 2022 Arts Council England says it will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £800 million from the National Lottery to support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries.