Iconic Northamptonshire motorsport circuit gets £9m grants towards heritage centre

From left, Derek Warwick, Patron of the Silverstone Heritage Experience; Sally Reynolds, CEO of Silverstone Heritage Limited; Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Patron of the Silverstone Heritage Experience; Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF; and Nigel Mansell CBE, Patron of the Silverstone Heritage Experience.
From left, Derek Warwick, Patron of the Silverstone Heritage Experience; Sally Reynolds, CEO of Silverstone Heritage Limited; Sir Stirling Moss OBE, Patron of the Silverstone Heritage Experience; Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF; and Nigel Mansell CBE, Patron of the Silverstone Heritage Experience.

Silverstone has received a £9.1m Lottery grant to help towards building its own heritage centre.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded Silverstone Heritage Limited the grant for its Silverstone Heritage Experience project.

Sally Reynolds, CEO of Silverstone Heritage Limited, said: “We were delighted to hear that our bid has been successful.

“This means that work on the project can start in the New Year and that the Silverstone Heritage Experience can open to the public in spring 2019.”

Sir Peter Luff, chairman of HLF, said: “Silverstone is a place where so many legends of British motor racing have their roots.

“The speed and the glamour, though, are only part of the success of British motorsport since the late 1940s.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, more of the stories in this exciting heritage can now be told; stories of drivers and sporting glory, yes, but also of the extraordinary creativity of British engineering and of all the people behind the scenes who, quite literally, have kept the show on the road.

“When completed this project will help visitors, many of whom will know little about these aspects of Silverstone’s heritage, to understand much more about the context and importance of this internationally renowned racing circuit.”

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire, said: “I am delighted that Silverstone has been awarded the £9.1m from the National Lottery which will allow the exciting Silverstone Heritage Experience project to begin in the New Year.

“Silverstone promotes a flourishing motorsports industry both to South Northamptonshire and to the UK as a whole.

“This project will build on that excellent record for years to come.”

The project will bring the heritage of Silverstone and British motor racing to life for an estimated half a million visitors a year, through the creation of an interactive and educational visitor experience.

The Silverstone Heritage Experience includes:

A permanent exhibition that will take visitors on a two-hour journey through motor racing past, present and future. The exhibition will be housed in the only remaining Second World War hangar on the site, which is to the left of the main entrance.

The latest technology will be used to tell the stories of the people that have been part of the site’s history, from medieval monks and WWII air crew to the racing drivers, riders, engineers and marshals of today.

A Collections and Research Centre, offering museum and archive accredited storage for the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) archive and other motor sport collections as well as a specialist library and learning space for school groups.

A series of themed tours stopping off at iconic sites around the circuit.

The team behind the project says the Silverstone Heritage Experience will ensure that the heritage of Silverstone and British motor racing is explained and interpreted for today’s public as well as being protected for future generations. It will celebrate the circuit and the country’s position at the very heart of the global motor sport industry by explaining their historic and continuing importance to the sport.

In addition to the support from the HLF, the Silverstone Heritage Experience Project has also been supported by South Northamptonshire Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Buckinghamshire County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Cherwell District Council, Buckinghamshire and Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

The exhibition is being designed by sector specialists Mather and Co whose previous projects include the National Football Museum, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, The Springbok Experience, The Olympic Museum, Chelsea FC Museum and the Warwickshire County Cricket Museum.

The Project Architect, heading up the building services team, is Jane Lock-Smith of Cube Design who was awarded Architect of the Year at the Women in Construction Awards 2016.

The audio visual and multi-media content for the exhibition will be created and produced by Wentworth Media & Arts and Moonlake Entertainment who will also be producing a feature length documentary film entitled “Silverstone - The Cradle of Motorsports” for release in 2018.