The Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon is showing why it offers the best of British with a name change and £4 million extension.
Home to the world’s largest collection of historic British cars, the centre will rebrand as The British Motor Museum to reflect its recently achieved Arts Council England ‘designated’ status.
And an investment of £1.1 million by the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust will transform the museum, which will close to the public from Monday November 30 to allow the refurbishment to take place.
An introductory gallery within the new visitor entrance will set the scene and flow into new themed zones, including ones for movie cars, prototypes and sports cars.
The ethos of allowing visitors to get up close to the exhibits will not change, but there will be different ways to view the cars, with many on raised plinths and some at eye level.
Visitors will be able to look under more open bonnets, and enjoy new interactive content including sound, film and touch screens.
The final element of the multi-million revamp will be the new Collections Centre.
Supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Jaguar Land Rover and the Garfield Weston Foundation, as well as the two charitable Trusts involved, the £4 million project will store about 250 vehicles from the reserve collections of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.
Many of these vehicles are one of a kind and most have never been seen by the public.
A new team of volunteers will take visitors on a ‘behind-the-scenes’ tour to view both the cars and the conservation work in progress in the historic vehicle workshops.
Entry to the Collections Centre will be included within the Museum ticket price and tours can be booked on arrival.
Julie Tew, Managing Director at the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust said: “We are delighted to announce these exciting new changes which will significantly enhance our status and appeal.
“The Museum refurbishment and the new Collections Centre will enrich our visitors’ experience and showcase our collections to their full potential.”
The transition to the new name begins once the Museum closes for its redevelopment and the venue will be officially known as the British Motor Museum when the Museum and Collections Centre re-open to the public on Saturday February 13 2016.