New interactive visitor experience and archive to open at Silverstone in 2019, with help from a £9.1m grant
Silverstone Circuit’s heritage arm has been awarded £9.1m by the Heritage Lottery Fund, paving the way for the Silverstone Heritage Experience to open its doors in Spring 2019.
There is, of course, plenty of Silverstone heritage for future visitors to discover. Motor racing is the obvious core, but the Experience will also address the engineering creativity behind the speed and glamour, the history of the former airfield including its role in World War Two, and even the monks who inhabited the site in medieval times.
Appropriately, the Experience will be housed in the last remaining wartime hangar on the site, situated to the left of the main entrance. It will be refurbished and re-clad, and inside will be a permanent exhibition which will, says Silverstone, use the latest technology to ‘take visitors on a two-hour journey through motor racing past, present and future.’
As well as the exhibition there will be a Collections and Research centre, which will store the archive of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, house a specialist library and offer a learning space for school groups. There will be space for other archives as required. Another planned element is a series of themed tours of the circuit, stopping off at particular points of history.
‘Silverstone is where so many legends of British motor racing have their roots,’ said Heritage Lottery Fund chairman Sir Peter Luff. ‘When completed, this project will help visitors, many of whom will know little about these aspects of Silverstone’s heritage, to understand more about the context and importance of this internationally renowned racing circuit.’
The exhibition is being designed by Mather and Co, which designed the National Football Museum, the Olympic Museum, the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and others. Jane Lock-Smith of Cube Design heads the building services, while audiovisuals and multimedia will come from Wentworth Media & Arts and Moonlake Entertainment. Computer-generated images of the project are shown above.
Words: John Simister