His Royal Highness Prince Harry visited Silverstone today – in his capacity as Royal patron of The Silverstone Experience – to officially start the construction programme on the £19.3 million project due for completion in spring 2019. Supporters and trustees of The Silverstone Experience, as well as local dignitaries, representatives from British motor sport and engineering students gathered as Prince Harry launched the project by switching the Silverstone start lights from red to green.
The Silverstone Experience (TSE), supported by National Lottery players through a £9.1m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is expected to attract over 500,000 visitors a year and will bring to life the history of Silverstone and British motor sport through the creation of a dynamic, interactive and educational visitor experience.
The Silverstone Experience will use the technical heritage of British motor racing to inspire high performance engineers of the future and the project team is working closely with the Silverstone University Technical College (UTC) on initiatives to support this. Prince Harry spent some time today at the UTC to learn more about the High Performance Engineering courses on offer and to meet current and past students who are the future of the thriving British motor sport industry.
As part of today’s visit, HRH Prince Harry was given a presentation by CEO of The Silverstone Experience, Sally Reynolds, who updated him on the progress of the project and gave an insight into some of the exciting exhibits that will be on display. Stuart Pringle, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuit, apprised the Prince on Silverstone’s plans for its 70th anniversary celebrations which take place at this year’s British Grand Prix and spoke about the importance of having TSE at the venue.
Silverstone were delighted Ross Brawn, Managing Director of Motor Sports for Formula 1 – and one of the most successful and innovative Technical Directors in Formula 1 history – took the time to be part of the day and gave an insightful talk about the importance of teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in schools and energising and motivating young people to get involved in engineering.
Sally Reynolds, CEO of The Silverstone Experience commented “After many years of planning and preparation today marks a key milestone in making the project a reality. At the end of last year we successfully concluded the public tender process and appointed Shaylor Group as our main contractor to carry out the hangar restoration and building work. We are delighted to welcome our Royal Patron Prince Harry to The Silverstone Experience to mark the start of this construction programme.”
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) said: “Silverstone is a place where so many legends of British motor racing have their roots. The speed and the glamour, though, are only part of the success of British motorsport since the late 1940s.
“Thanks to National Lottery players we’re delighted to celebrate this important step towards sharing Silverstone’s fascinating history. Stories of drivers and sporting glory, yes, but also of the extraordinary creativity of British engineering and of all the people behind the scenes who, quite literally, have kept the show on the road.”
For further information visit www.silverstone-experience.co.uk