A permanent exhibition on the history of the Millennium Falcon is set to open to the public next week, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Millennium Falcon exhibition opens at Pembroke Dock Heritage Centre on Monday, May 23, thanks to £8,000 of funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The installation tells the story of the building of a life-sized model of the Star Wars ship in 1979 for The Empire Strikes Back.

The model was built in the town in 1979, making it known as ‘The last ship built in the Royal Pembroke Dockyard.’

Craftsmen built the model in the Western Hangar, a former RAF aircraft hangar.

Gareth Mills, a trustee of the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust, said: “It was the worst kept secret in Pembroke Dock – everybody in the town knew they were building a UFO, and that story is an important part of the town’s living memory.

“We are now able to tell the story of the building of the Millennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock – an iconic event to fans across the globe, in a new and permanent exhibition.

“The exhibition will provide a significant boost for Pembroke Dock with increased visitor numbers helping with the economic regeneration of our town and will also have major benefits for Pembrokeshire.”

Work on the exhibition has been going on for some time under the watchful eye of Star Wars expert Mark Williams.

The exhibition will feature a walk-through display will tell the story with photographs, film, models and costumes.

Milford Mercury: Millennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock. Picture: John ClarkMillennium Falcon in Pembroke Dock. Picture: John Clark

However, the Millennium Falcon isn't Pembrokeshire’s only connection to Star Wars. Lynwen Brennan, Lucasfilm EVP and General Manager, is a Pembrokeshire native.

Lynwen said about the exhibition: “I love that such an iconic, beloved ship was built in the county where I grew up, and I’m hopeful this exhibit will become a new destination for fans around the world.”

Andrew White, director of the National Lottery heritage Fund in Wales said: “This new exhibition showcases Pembroke Dock as the birthplace of the first life-sized model of the Millennium Falcon. It’s a great example of one of our small grants going a long way, in this case to a galaxy, far away and back again.”