Brooklands Museum secures funding from Arts Council England

23 March 2015

Brooklands Museum has been awarded a grant of £200,000 from Arts Council England’s Museum Resilience Fund, towards the Museum’s ambitious Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival Project.

Coming on top of the recent grant of £4.681million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, this latest contribution means that the project is 95% funded, leaving the Museum with around £370,000 still to raise.

The Arts Council grant will go towards a new climate-controlled archive store, a training and restoration workshop and a reading and research room which will be housed inside the “Flight Shed”, which is being built as part of the Brooklands Aircraft Factory & Race Track Revival Project. The archive store will be the first purpose-built, environmentally-controlled storage space for the internationally significant archives and at-risk smaller items in the Museum’s collection. The reading room will provide improved research facilities for writers, historians, students and specialist groups wishing to explore the archives and reserve collections. The new workshop will enable the delivery of an Aviation Heritage Skills Training Programme which will train volunteers from Brooklands and other organisations in the highest standards of preservation, conservation and restoration of aircraft, as well as providing much improved conditions for volunteers working on the Museum’s restoration projects.

The upper floor of the Flight Shed will house the active machines amongst the Museum’s outstanding collection of historic aircraft, with a bridge providing a direct link from there to the Finishing Straight of the original Brooklands race track of 1907 (also being restored within the project) to allow these aircraft to be brought out for engine runs and taxying demonstrations. The third main focus of the Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Race Track Revival project will be to transform the Museum’s Grade II listed Second World War Wellington Hangar (to be relocated and restored during the works) into ‘The Brooklands Aircraft Factory’, where visitors will be able to see (and try for themselves) how aircraft were designed and built at Brooklands over a 80-year period.

Allan Winn, Brooklands Museum Director says: “This substantial funding from Arts Council England gives a tremendous boost to the project, and is a further vindication of its over-arching aim of helping to inspire today’s and future generations to embrace the STEM subjects which are so vital to this country’s manufacturing industries and its continuing prosperity.”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: “Brooklands is an iconic part of our motor racing and aircraft engineering history and we are pleased to be able to support Brooklands Museum’s plans to develop the archive, research and training facilities within the Flight Shed through the Museum resilience fund.”

The Arts Council’s Museum resilience fund aims to support a step change for the museums sector by enabling museums to become more sustainable and resilient businesses. The programme complements Arts Council’s investment in major partner museums, the museum development fund and national programmes, and will focus on any gaps (geographical or otherwise) or development opportunities across the sector, recognising that excellence and the potential for excellence can be found in museums of all sizes.