The Surrey-based Brooklands Museum has received a massive boost after securing a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant will go towards a significant redevelopment of the site full of history for motoring, aviation and engineering.
The £4.681million grant will help transform the Museum’s Grade II listed Second World War Wellington Hangar into ‘The Brooklands Aircraft Factory’, as well as building ‘The Flight Shed’, a new annex to house more of the museum’s collection of historical aircraft.
The grant will also assist in restoring the Finishing Straight of the Brooklands Race Track, which at the time of its opening in 1907 was the first purpose-built motor racing circuit.
“This support from Lottery players is a real vindication of the Museum’s vision of bringing a wartime temporary aircraft assembly building back to life as the only place in the country dedicated to showing how aircraft are designed and built,” said Brooklands Museum Director Allan Winn.
“This unique exhibition – coupled as it is with a new home for our live aircraft, new workshops and stores, and the restoration of the Finishing Straight of the Race Track to its 1939 appearance – will give visitors of all ages an unmatched immersive and imaginative experience.
“We are now really looking forward to working with our consultants, contractors and volunteers to turn this fantastic vision into an exciting reality.”
The money will see the Hangar relocated and restored on a new site adjacent to its current location to allow the Finishing Straight of the circuit to be brought back into use for both motoring and aviation activities.
The Museum has already successfully raised over £1.2million towards the project, and are aiming to raise another £775,000, with the whole project costing over £7million, including the preparation and development work already undertaken, making it the biggest endeavour the Museum has ever carried out.
“The Brooklands site has played such an important role in the country’s history,” said Stuart McLeod, the Head of HLF South East. “Today’s glitzy Grand Prix and state-of-the-art airliners can all be traced back to innovation that took place here.
“The Heritage Lottery Fund’s investment in this remarkable site will help the Museum create a unique experience for visitors, helping them understand the pivotal role that the UK has played in the field of engineering.”