Birthplace of British racing will return to former glory with £4.7m Brooklands transformation project

The birthplace of British racing, Brooklands race track, will have its final stretch restored as part of a £4.7m transformation of Brooklands Museum.

The Surrey museum received a lottery grant which will enable it to bring the history of the world’s first purpose-built racing circuit to life.

The project will see the finishing straight restored to its 1939 appearance when the circuit was in its heyday, and the WWII Wellington Hangar will be transformed into Brooklands Aircraft factory.

Museum director Allan Winn said: “This support from the lottery players is a real vindication of the museum’s vision of bringing a wartime temporary aircraft assembly building back to life.

“It will be the only place in the country dedicated to showing how aircraft are designed and built.”

Brooklands opened in 1907 and made motoring history before it was became a military aircraft base during World War II.

As part of the restoration a new annexe, the Flight Shed, will be built to house more of the museums collection, including active aircraft Sopwith Camel and Hurricane.

The project will also include a training scheme for volunteers in historic aircraft restoration.

Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: “Today’s glitzy Grand Prix and the 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.”

The museum has raised more than £1.2m for the project but still needs to raise a further £775,000.

Work on the scheme will start in the next couple of months and will be finished by summer 2016.

Picture courtesy of Adam Singer, with thanks

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