Brooklands Museum is to spend millions restoring its buildings and bringing its famous motor racing circuit back to its prime.
The museum in Brooklands Road, Weybridge, will get the first part of a £4.85m bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Brooklands aircraft factory and race track revival project.
This means the project has met the HLF criteria and has the potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for money.
The project aims to relocate, restore and reinterpret the museum’s Grade II listed Wellington Hangar as the Brooklands Aircraft Factory, with a new annexe to house more of the museum’s collection of historic aircrafts.
It will also restore the section of original race track the hangar currently stands on.
The project hopes to inspire current and future generations to embrace science, technology and engineering, and will enhance learning opportunities, provide a training scheme in historic aircraft restoration and new activities on the race track.
The initial funding allocated by the HLF is £286,500, and the museum will add further cash and volunteer input, allowing almost £410,000 of work to be done.
The museum will then be able to apply for the remainder of grant in 2015.
Under the plans, the hangar would be completely restored on a new site adjacent to its current one, allowing the finishing straight section to be brought back into use for both motoring and aviation activities.
The hangar will be presented as an aircraft factory, showing how aircrafts from the earliest pioneers to Concorde were designed, built and developed at Brooklands for an 80-year period.
The factory will be an interactive learning centre and visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the atmosphere of an aircraft manufacturing plant and try the crafts and skills used by workers in Brooklands’ manufacturing heyday.
In a new adjoining flight shed, the museum’s active aircraft will be kept ready to roll out on to the refurbished race track for static and taxi-ing demonstrations, while in new workshops underneath the building, museum volunteers will learn and practise aircraft restoration skills.
Allan Winn, Brooklands Museum director, 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.”