National Motor Museum awarded a Heritage Fund grant for museum transformation

Posted  14.03.2024
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The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is celebrating today after receiving a £226,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for an exciting new project. The project will see the Museum building refurbished, transforming the entrance and welcome, and helping to develop a new Ages of Motoring gallery.

The Heritage Fund grant will also support the Museum’s Learning team to deliver an ambitious outreach programme broadening the appeal of the new permanent gallery. The two-year project will see the Museum collaborate with local community groups and will explore motoring themes relevant to contemporary audiences and address gaps in representation within the collections.

Jon Murden, Chief Executive of the National Motor Museum says, “We are delighted that the Museum will receive this support thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. The funding will enable the Museum to develop new and imaginative ways of sharing the story of motoring through our Collections, demonstrating the way motoring affects the lives of almost everybody and shapes society, showcasing the past, present and future of motoring. The Heritage Fund support allows us to take the vital first steps in our masterplan to reimagine the Museum and its Collections Centre.”

Ambitious Development Plans

As a first step, the National Motor Museum’s initial project will redevelop, reinterpret, and redisplay the Museum’s entrance galleries, transforming the welcome, orientation and engagement experience.
Displays will explain the origins of the Museum, its direct connections to the pioneers of motoring, and create a greater sense of place – explaining why the world’s first national motor museum is at Beaulieu. The main gallery space will showcase a new permanent exhibition ‘The Ages of Motoring’ showcasing the development and social history of cars and motorcycles from the 19th century, through 20th century and beyond.

Jon continues,” The project will breathe new life into our vehicle displays and our interpretation of motoring heritage, presenting it in a fresh and exciting way. The entrance will be transformed, creating a more welcoming and accessible experience for visitors of all abilities.”

New and Diverse Audiences

The Museum aims to reach a far broader audience and local communities through new outreach initiatives. With activities and educational programs our goal is to encourage people to explore motoring heritage in new ways and contribute to the ongoing dialogue, making it a shared story.

Benedick Swann, the National Motor Museum’s Head of learning says, “The story of motoring touches all areas of society. This exciting project aims to broaden the appeal of our collections and add new voices to the interpretation through long term outreach and community partnership work.”

News of the National Lottery Heritage Fund grant comes as work is coming to an end on refurbishing the outside entrance of the Museum in readiness for the 2024 season – new glass has been installed and the iron framework has been painted in its original orange colour scheme.