Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Brooklands race track to get facelift

Brooklands, Surrey in the UK, the birthplace of British motor racing, is to receive a multi-million-pound facelift to help restore it to its former glory, according to the BBC.

Under the proposals, the final stretch of the world's first purpose-built racing circuit is to be restored and brought into use in a £7m scheme at Brooklands Museum in Surrey.

UK lottery funds of nearly £4.7 million have been awarded to the scheme, which will see a WW2 hangar moved from its position on top of the track and restored nearby.

The finishing straight will be restored to its 1939 appearance when the circuit was in its heyday, museum staff said.

Brooklands opened in 1907 and went on to make motoring and aviation history.

After restoration, the final stretch will return to use for motoring and aviation activities.

The restored Grade II listed World War Two Wellington Hangar - which was used for the assembly of Wellington bombers in the 1940s and later for other industrial purposes - will become The Brooklands Aircraft Factory, where visitors will see how aircraft from biplanes to Concorde were designed, developed and built.

And a new annexe, the Flight Shed, will also be built to house more of the museum's collection, including active aircraft such as its Sopwith Camel and Hurricane which will be kept ready to roll out on to the refurbished race track.

The race track's heyday was in the 1930s

Races took place at Brooklands as well as early experiments in engineering

Museum director Allan Winn said the aircraft assembly building would be the only place in the country dedicated to showing how aircraft are designed and built.

He promised visitors "an unmatched, immersive and imaginative experience".

Stuart McLeod, head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said Brooklands had played an important role in the country's history, and the airliners and "glitzy" Grand Prix of today could all be traced back to innovation that had taken place at Brooklands.

He said the project would help visitors understand the "pivotal role" the UK has played in engineering.

The museum has raised over £1.2 million and has been awarded £4.681 million by the lottery fund. It still needs to raise a further £775,000.

Work on the scheme is due to start in the next couple of months and be finished by summer next year.

From next year, visitors will be able to see the final stretch as it was
'Firsts' at Brooklands
-Brooklands saw the first public demonstration of powered flight in the UK in 1909
-The first person to travel over 100 miles in one hour, Percy Lambert, did so at Brooklands in 1913
-The first British Grand Prix took place at Brooklands in 1926
Over the years, aircraft built at Brooklands have ranged from biplanes to Concorde
The museum presents the history of racing from the earliest days to Formula 1

The funding will help bring part of its famous track back to life and rebuild its main hangar, which houses old aircraft including Wellington bombers, Sopwith Camels and Hurricanes.

It is the biggest heritage project that Brooklands has ever seen.

The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy went to have a look at the old track with museum director Allan Winn.

Watch the news report on

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