The Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust has won a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The £45,900 grant has been awarded to enable the Trust to prepare an application for a much larger amount (reported to be around £700,000) from the same organisation that would help create a new Battle of Britain Museum inside the Grade II Listed mansion at the former air force base which housed fighter command in 1940.
Barratt Homes have permission to build 103 new homes on the 23 hectare site, while City & Country will convert part of the listed building into flats. The developers have agreed a £2.6m fund to cover museum running costs.
The Trust hopes to pen the Museum in 2013.