The Royal Air Force Museum has been awarded £898,558 to create a new exhibition about the role air-power played in the First World War.

The money has been provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to develop The First World War in the Air exhibition at the museum’s base in Graham Park Way, Colindale, as well as its Cosford site and online.

The four-year project will mark the centenary of the First World War, exploring the development of air-power as an integral part of modern warfare.

The permanent exhibition will open in December 2014 in the museum’s historic Grahame-White Factory in Colindale, which is a Grade II listed building that was an active aircraft factory during the First World War.

The exhibition will explore what it was like to be involved in the earliest days of military aviation through the story of Britain’s air services, the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.

It will also incorporate the experiences of pilots, ground crews and factory workers as well as the local community.

A community space will be set up to provide an area for groups to develop projects at the museum and a temporary exhibition gallery will enable schools to stage a series of First World War related displays from April 2015.

Peter Dye, director general of the Royal Air Force Museum, said: “We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us the support needed to tell the important story of air power in the First World War.

“It is of particular significance to us because of the related heritage of our London site, an active airfield and aircraft factory throughout the war, and because it embraces the birth of the Royal Air Force, built on the achievements of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.

“As well as being a national story, the project will help the local community to understand how much their neighbourhood changed as a result of aviation and the long-term impact on their lives.”