“The chief aims of Brooklands Museum are to protect and preserve its unique heritage and use it to inspire and educate. Brooklands was the world’s first purpose-built motor racing circuit, opened in 1907, and was the main venue for motorsport in Britain until 1939. It was also one of Britain’s first airfields and at the leading edge of aviation technology for 80 years until the last factory closed in 1987. The 32 acres of Brooklands Museum are home to many original buildings and part of the iconic banked race track, the Members’ Banking, together with collections of cars, aircraft, motorcycles, cycles and associated ephemera, displayed where they were designed, built and used. It is a charitable trust that receives no national or regional government funding towards running costs.
Whether through education programmes and work experience to engage school children and students in the STEM subjects or through special events held throughout the year, Brooklands provides countless opportunities for people, including our 171,000 annual visitors and over 800 volunteers, to access its collections and learn about its history. A recent initiative has been to set up a dementia café for sufferers and their families as the Museum is an ideal venue for reminiscence sessions.
Although sometimes difficult when historic buildings are concerned, we are as environmentally friendly as possible in our new developments and restorations, for instance using low energy light bulbs and sustainable materials.
To aid conservation in the wider area, we are working in partnership with English Heritage, Elmbridge Borough Council and Surrey County Council to address a variety of conservation issues around the Brooklands site. Thanks to a major grant from English Heritage, we are working with consultants to develop a ‘Brooklands Conservation Management Plan’, which will become the working reference document with guidelines and information on all aspects of the preservation of the former race track and aerodrome.”