Outline plans for the multi-million pound development of Brooklands Museum have been given the initial thumbs up by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The move comes after the Surrey Museum's put in a £4.85 million bid for cash to help finance Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival Project.
If the plans come off, the Museum will relocate, restore and reinterpret the Museum’s Grade 2-listed Wellington Hangar as The Brooklands Aircraft Factory, with a new annexe to house more of the Museum’s outstanding collection of historic aircraft.
It also plans to restore the section of the original finishing straight on which the hangar currently stands.
The initial funding allocated by the HLF for this project is £286,500, to which the Museum will add further cash and volunteer input to allow development work to a total value of almost £410,000 to be undertaken, helping Brooklands Museum progress its plans to apply for the remainder of the full grant in 2015.
Museum director Allan Winn said: “This most welcome HLF funding will help us restore a famous historic building and safeguard internationally important aircraft, to give our visitors the only place in the country where they can see how aircraft were (and are) designed and built. It will also allow us to bring a significant part of the world’s first motor-racing circuit back to life – and to use all those elements to inspire youngsters, especially, to engage with the nationally-vital subjects of science, technology and engineering.”
Stuart McLeod, Head of Heritage Lottery South East, said: “Brooklands is a unique place which is celebrated as a test bed of invention and daring for both motor racing and aviation development. We’re delighted to be giving initial support to Brooklands Museum’s exciting proposals to conserve key features of the site and warmly welcome their ambitions to make a real step change in how they engage with audiences in the future. We look forward to working with them over the coming months as they develop their ideas further.”